Cornus sericea - Rosa woodsii - Ribes spp. Shrubland Alliance
Red-osier dogwood - Interior rose - Currant thickets

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormShrub
  • Elevation800-3400 m
  • State RarityS3
  • Global RarityG5
  • DistributionCAN: SK. USA: CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, WY (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added2009/09/01

Characteristic Species

Cornus sericea, Ribes spp. or Rosa woodsii is dominant in the shrub canopy with Amelanchier utahensis, Artemisia cana, Artemisia tridentata, Ericameria nauseosa, Ribes aureum, Ribes cereum, Ribes inerme, Ribes nevadense, Salix lemmonii, Salix lucida, Salix scouleriana, Symphoricarpos longiflorus and Symphoricarpos oreophilus. Emergent trees may be present at low cover, including Abies concolor or Pinus jeffreyi.

Vegetation Layers

Shrubs < 3 m; cover is intermittent to continuous. Herbaceous layer is sparse to continuous and grassy.

Membership Rules

  • Cornus sericea > 5% absolute cover in the shrub canopy; no other single shrub or tree with greater cover (Potter 2005).
  • Rosa woodsii > 50% relative cover in the shrub canopy with at least 15% abolute cover (Smith 1998).
  • Cornus sericea >50% relative cover in the shrub canopy with at least 25% absolute cover (Smith 1998, Manning and Padgett 1995).
  • Rosa woodsii >50% relative cover in the shrub canopy with at least 25% absolute cover (Manning and Padgett 1995).


Meadow margins, stream terraces, wet valley bottoms, slopes near springs and seeps, and roadside ditches that have seasonal subirrigation. The USFWS Wetland Inventory (1996 national list) recognizes Cornus sericea as a FACW plant, Rosa woodsii as a FAC plant, and Ribes spp. as FAC+ and FACW+ plants.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Montane wetland shrub habitat
NVCS (2009) Rosa woodsii temporarily flooded shrubland alliance
Calveg Willow (riparian scrub)
Holland Modoc-Great Basin riparian forest
Munz Not treated
WHR Montane riparian
CDFW CA Code 63.320.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Temperate Flooded and Swamp Forest
Division Western North America Flooded and Swamp Forest
Macro Group Western Cordilleran montane-boreal riparian scrub
Group Great Basin montane riparian scrub