Dogwood is a deciduous tree. Some species are classified as shrubs, while some are evergreen trees. It always manages to attract attention due to its magnificent display of flowers. The tree is the state tree of Missouri, and its flower is the state flower of Virginia and North Carolina.
Some Interesting Facts
- The dogwood tree belongs to the family Cornaceae, and its scientific name is Cornus florida. It is quite common in North America. It is an ornamental tree, and is also known as hound's tree.
- The fruits are known as dogberries or houndberries. Fruits obtained from some species of dogwood are eaten, but they do not have a delicious flavor, and are not particularly popular.
- Wood obtained from the tree is quite hard and strong, and is hence used to make different types of tools, such as walking canes, loom shuttles, etc.
- Its flowers are very attractive. Those who are fond of flowering trees should definitely consider planting a dogwood tree in their garden.
- The height of the tree varies according to the cultivar. Usually it grows up to a height of 30-35 feet. Being an ornamental tree for landscaping, it is usually planted in the front yard of the house.
- In spring, the tree gets covered with clusters of yellow, white, pink, or red flowers. The flowers remain for at least 2-3 weeks.
- It can live for up to 80 years or more. Thus, you can enjoy the visual treat for about 80 years!
- During summer, when the flowering is over, the tree gets covered with attractive green foliage. In autumn, shiny red fruits attract birds towards the tree. The leaves turn red and purple in fall.
- Pagoda dogwood, Cherokee Chief, Flowering dogwood, Carnelian Cherry, Japanese dogwood, Pacific dogwood are some of the common varieties.
- The tree requires well-dug, well-drained soil. Applying mulch once every year is essential to make the soil rich in nutrients.
- Taking care of a dogwood tree involves providing lime, fertilizer, and organic compost to the tree, and watering it regularly. Timely pruning is required to avoid diseases and insect infestations.
- Appearance of white flowers on the tree indicates the arrival of spring. This tree is among the first to bloom.
- You may drink the extract or the tea made from the bark of the tree for reducing fever. The bark is also used to treat mange and malaria.
- In the Victorian Era, young men used to present dogwood flowers to unmarried women to convey affection. If the woman kept the flower, it was considered a sign of mutual interest! Women who wanted to convey indifference used to return the flower!
- An interesting factoid about this popular plant is that the cross used to crucify Jesus Christ is considered to have been made from dogwood. It is believed that Jesus made the tree dwarf after his crucifixion; twisted branches of the tree are supposed to be reminders of the miraculous process that turned a normal-sized tree into a dwarf one!
- Dogwood inflorescence represents the crucifixion, as it consists of four cross-shaped bracts. It is believed that each bract represents the corners of the cross, and the red stamen symbolizes the crown of thorn that Jesus wore.
Dogwoods are popular for their stunning spring display. Growing them is quite inexpensive and easy. So all in all, this is quite the ideal choice for an ardent gardener who likes to cultivate flowers.