Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a type of all-season ornamental plant. You can enjoy its flowers in late winter and in the spring, enjoy its fruits in the summer and fall and its leaves in late fall. This type of bush or small tree is originated in the Eastern US. Now they are one of the most common garden plants across the US. The shape of the flower has become a commonly used icon and has appeared in various clothing embroideries and household decorative items.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality
Petals in disguise

Flowering dogwood has four oval and vibrant “petals” that aren’t really petals at all, bracts of the inflorescence. Their actual flowers are the green flowers with the umbrella-shaped inflorescence that come together in the middle of the bracts. Only when the flowers have bloomed for two weeks will the four bracts fully expand.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality

Bracts of wild flowering dogwood will gradually change color from green to white while the flower is maturing. Eventually, it turns slightly pink. With breeding, flowering dogwood has improved varieties with pink and red bracts.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality

Flowering dogwoods are fragrant and attract a lot of butterflies during the blooming season. After the little green flowers die, they bear berries. When the berries become ripe, they turn bright red and are a favorite treat for birds. However, use caution because these fruits are slightly poisonous for humans and are not edible.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality
Colorful Dogwoods

Flowering Dogwood is a member of the Cornus family of plants. These plants include many practical landscape gardening plants, including small trees with beautiful flowers, shrubs with beautiful leaves and fruits, and plants that have beautiful branches in the winter or even herbaceous flowers. While planting them in the garden, you should mainly consider the type of plants, functionality, size, and other requirements to make sure they match your space and desired appearance.

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

In North America, the flowering dogwood is one of the most common small trees with beautiful flowers and its flowers and fruits are both aesthetically appealing as ornamental trees. Planting flowering dogwood with white bracts and pink bracts together is a very popular gardening combination.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mus)

Cornelian cherry dogwood is a large shrub that blooms yellow flowers in early spring with its fruit being fully ripe in the second month of the summer. The translucent fruits are not only beautiful but also tasty. They can be eaten fresh or be made into wines. In English, the word Cornell, or red agate, is originated from this type of fruit.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality
White Dogwood (Cornus alba) and Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus services)

Different from other ornamental plants, the unique parts of white dogwood and red-osier dogwood are the stems. After winter comes, the color of their stems turns to the color of a deep red like red corals or a bright yellow, creating a vibrant contrast with its darker environment color. Planting them with Helleborus, Corm and other plants that have a blooming season in the winter or early spring can achieve surprisingly beautiful results.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality
Creeping dogwood (Cornus canadensis)

Creeping dogwood is a type of herbaceous ground cover plant with roots and stems that grow and develop horizontally. Every year during the seasonal change of spring and summer, they bloom with beautiful four-petaled white flowers, then bear edible bright red berries. In the fall, the leaves turn purple and red. Their colorful foliage adds a unique element to your garden.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality
Can I grow flowering dogwood well?

The water needs for the flowering dogwood is moderate. It requires minimal maintenance (while shrubs require relatively more pruning). Therefore, they are suitable for green hands to plant them.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality

Flowering dogwood can be planted in all seasons, but preferably in the fall. It likes sunlight. When there is ample sun exposure, its flowers have deep colors. If it lacks sun exposure the lifespan can be shortened or it can be wilted. Every year after the leaves fall from this plant, remember to keep them and mulch back into the soil. This can improve the fertilization of the soil and increase its water draining capability. After leaves fall, you can apply some nitrogen intensive organic fertilizer or normal fertilizer. In the early spring of the next year, you can apply additional compost as fertilizer. This way you will be able to ensure the vigorous livelihood of the blooms of flowering dogwood.

Flowering Dogwood: Innocence, Purity, Spirituality

The commercial nursery plants of flowering dogwood are usually grafted; you can also graft it yourself or use seeds to grow them. Please note to inquire about the supplier if the nursery plants have dogwood anthracnose resistance. This type of disease is common in the Eastern US. Pay attention and prune branches that hang too low. This will help improve the resistance to dogwood anthracnose for your flowering dogwood.

One last tip: The costs of purchasing nursery plants in early winter are likely lower.

Size: 10 m (33 ft) high, often wider than its height when mature

Hardiness: USDA Zone 5-9

Sunlight: full sun to partial sun

Soil: Rich, fertile, moist and well-drained soil, slightly acid or neutral

Bloom time: Spring