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Dogwood Flower

Dogwood Flower

When you're driving down the country side, you must have often noticed a pink dogwood tree blooming with a million dogwood flowers. They are absolutely stunning to look at but have certain strange facts. Get ready to learn more about them in the following Gardenerdy article.
Aparna Jadhav
Dogwood flowers belong to the family Cornaceae and genus Cornus. These trees are deciduous in nature, and like others, lose their flowers at a certain time in the year. They are actually a cluster of small flowers surrounded by four large bracts which are often mistaken to be the petals.
Bracts are modified leaves which look like petals. So, in actuality, the actual flowers are the tiny greenish-yellow objects in the center of the flowering head. In spring time, these bracts are the first to bloom, and gradually, the actual flowers open up to allow fertilization. The blooming period of these tiny flowers is very short and immediately leads to the production of fruits and seeds.

The dogwood tree is the state tree and flower of Virginia State, and there are about 40 different types of trees found throughout the world. Out of these, 15 are native to North America and Canada.
Facts File
Four large white bracts and central flower cluster
Four large white bracts and central flower cluster
Four large pink bracts and central flower cluster
Four large pink bracts and central flower cluster
  • The trees are not more than forty feet high and are often densely branched with flowers blossoming on every branch.
  • The flowers come in vibrant and rich colors like red, pink, purple, white, etc., and when they bloom in spring, they make the entire tree look magnificent and beautiful.
  • These flowering trees are actually quite valueless in terms of nutrition to wildlife as well as humans as they do not have many herbal or nutritional value.
  • These trees are simply useful to nature, since they grow on slopes and have very strong root systems. Due to this, they prevent soil erosion on mountain slopes and muddy areas.
  • Their branches however, provide shelter for land animals as well as aves. They also provide nectar to insects and butterflies, and twigs to birds for their nests.
  • Besides, the trees are also useful to humans to make bowls, pipes, golf clubs, etc. The bark of this tree being very hard and essential in these cases.
  • These trees can be great ornamental trees in your garden as they look very beautiful when they are in full bloom in spring. The cool shade of this tree also provides comfort in the cool evenings in your backyards.
  • The flowers grow on every part of each branch and these trees do not need a lot of care. They can grow in the sun, without water, for quite some time and need not be pruned often.
  • They use their nutrition from the acidic soil they grow in, and hence, need some compost and leaf molds for their growth.
The Meaning
The flowers also have meanings to them like every other flower. The mythical meaning of this flower is that the tree was chosen to provide wood for Jesus Christ's crucifixion. However, the tree was unhappy about this cruel act it was forced to do, and thus Jesus after being nailed to it, told it this;

"Because of your regret and pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross, two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the middle of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember ..."
This is why many people get them as tattoos because they believe in this myth and pity the tree. Aren't these flowers an interesting piece of knowledge?! As mentioned above, they look great in gardens and are very low maintenance, and hence, you should have one of these in your backyard as well.
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