Flowering dogwood trees are mostly used for landscaping purposes, as the beauty of this tree is spellbinding. These strong trees have various features that make them well loved with those having vast estates and gardens.
Flowering Dogwood Tree
The flowering dogwood is one of the species of deciduous trees that belong to Cornaceae family. Its scientific name is Cornus florida. These trees are strong despite the weather changes, they have a perennial stem and thick bark. The dogwood is planted all throughout America. It is the state tree of Missouri, the state flower of Virginia and North Carolina, and the memorial tree of New Jersey. This beautiful ornamental tree has a lifespan of about 80 years, and can grow up to 30 feet high. Its canopy, which is the pride and glory of the tree, spreads about 35 feet wide, depending on its pruning, and the cultivators eye for design. The best part about the appearance of this tree is that the leaves change color, depending on the season, making the tree look amazing all year round.
The most prominent of all the uses is the visual satisfaction these plants give, all year round. Flowering dogwood is a tree that has the ability to vivify the most boring landscape. Because of their large variety in colors, this tree is preferred over most ornamental ones. These trees bloom in spring and are really ‘hard to beat’ on all practical grounds. They can slowly adapt to any kind of soil, tolerate moderate droughts and are free from any major plant diseases. Flowering dogwoods are used as a companion for several other trees like azaleas, redbud, and forsythia.
These trees are invaluable for their beautiful flowers, bracts, fruits, stems and twigs, and the most colorful leaves (during autumn). Several species like Cornelian cherry, red-osier dogwood, Japanese dogwood and several others are used to make various commercial products. For example, Cornelian cherry fruits are used to make the famous vin de courneille, which is a very popular alcoholic beverage in France. Fruit oil from the blood twigged dogwood tree, is used in making soaps. Apart from this, the bark of the dogwood is used to treat mange, and the tea made from the flowers helps in reducing a fever.
There is a Christian legend that claims that the cross that was used for crucifixion of Jesus Christ was made of the flowering dogwood tree. After the crucifixion, Jesus turned the plant into the dwarf size with those twisted branches. It is also said that the inflorescence of the dogwood flowers represent crucifixion as they have four cross shaped white bracts, each representing the corners of the cross and the red stamen that represent the crown of thorn that Jesus wore.
During the Victorian Era, dogwood flowers were given to women as a symbol of love and affection, wherein, if the woman kept the flower, it symbolized that the feeling were mutual, but if she returned them, then she did not reciprocate the same.
Flowering dogwoods thrive best in humid and moist surroundings, where the soil is rich in nutrients. Look after the tree well to keep it healthy and beautiful. Give enough time for its pruning as it helps with keeping many fungal diseases at bay.