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Dogwood

Image of Pink Dogwood BlossomA dogwood is any of the 30-50 species of shrubs or trees that belong to the family Cornaceae. Dogwoods are deciduous, in the sense that they lose their flowers some time of the year. They are woody plants, in the sense that they have a vessel that transports water and nutrients to all parts of the plants, they have a perennial stem, and they have a thick bark, all factors that ensure growth from year to year in spite of seasonal changes.

There is a Christian legend according to which the cross Christ was crucified on was made of dogwood. However, facts suggest that this legend is unlikely to be true.

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Plantae
Division
Magnoliophyta
Class
Magnoliopsida
Order
Cornales
Family
Cornaceae
Genus
Cornus

Interesting facts

  • Fruits of some species of dogwood are edible for human beings.
  • Flowering dogwoods grow best on moist and well-drained sandy soil (which has adequate amounts of silt and clay) in open woodlands. They cannot grow on dry areas because the root systems of dogwoods do not grow very deep.
  • It is found in almost all parts of the eastern United States- starting from the Atlantic coast to as far west as the River Mississippi.
  • The dogwood is the state flower of the US state of Virginia.
  • The dogwood is the state tree of two US States - Virginia and Missouri.
  • The pacific dogwood is the provincial flower of the province of British Columbia in Canada.

How to grow flowering dogwood

  • Clean and dry the seeds
  • As part of the stratification process (pre-treating seeds for germination), keep the seeds in a plastic bag containing moist peat about 105 days before the day you want to plant them outside. Make some holes on the bag in order to ensure air circulation.
  • Plant the seeds outside in spring when there is no danger of frost. Do not plant the seeds too deep.

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