Flowers and Seasons

Uses and Benefits of Flowering Dogwood

The dogwood flower sometimes called the blossoming dogwood, is a tree with early spring flowers that comes in various red, pink, and white hues. It is indigenous to eastern North America and a member of the Cornaceae family. This unique flower has been used for ages in various cultures to represent rebirth, perseverance, and purity. One of the first springtime flowering trees to bloom was the dogwood.

Because of its lovely blossoms, which bloom in April before any other trees, it is known as the “tree of hope” in Japan. Dogwood branches, which stand for love and loyalty and are frequently used as good luck charms for weddings by New Englanders, were employed in the same manner by early American settlers.

Where do Dogwood Flowers Blossom?

Dogwoods can be found worldwide, especially in North America, Asia, and Europe. This is because it spread via trade channels so that early Americans could use it as medicine.

Due to early Americans spreading it along trade channels so it could be used as a medicine, the dogwood tree has been significant throughout human history. As a symbol of love, fidelity, and purity, dogwood blooms and branches were utilized by early American settlers as good luck charms at weddings. Because they blossom every time spring arrives, dogwoods are also regarded by many cultures as symbols of rebirth and optimism.

Many cultures value dogwood blooms because of their capacity as natural painkillers and medicines. The Chinese used these flowers to treat gout, menstrual pains, and malaria, while the American colonists employed them to treat fevers and colds.

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The Dogwood Flower’s History in America

Dogwood is thought to have entered American culture for the first time during the 19th century when it was shown in several artworks. Because of their beauty and the meaning they held for artists of the time like Winslow Homer and John Frederick Kensett, these trees were often depicted in their works.

The dogwood flower and Robert Burns’ ballad “Flow Gently Sweet Afton” have strong associations in Scotland. Some people think he planted these blooms while he was still alive because it is believed that many of the trees in this area descended from a single dogwood tree.

What Does Dogwood Mean?

The Cornus genus includes the dogwood tree. Dogwoods in North America go by the common name Cornus florida or Flowering Dogwood. Gardeners have widely bred this cultivar to produce new bloom hues. On the other hand, the Whipple tree was the original name for the blooming dogwood tree in Europe. It gradually changed its name to dogwood and became known as “dog tree.”

What Do Dogwood Flowers Symbolize?

Dogwoods have extensive historical ties to the Christian tradition and intriguing allegorical connotations. The most specific meaning of dogwood blooms is rebirth. That interpretation makes it reasonable because these flowers strongly connect to Christianity.

But many civilizations utilize dogwood flowers because they symbolize toughness and the capacity to overcome obstacles in life. The dogwood flower appears small and delicate, yet it is incredibly resilient.

Dogwood blossoms can represent tenacity, virtue, vigor, and even love. In the Victorian era, male courting ladies frequently presented a dogwood flower twig as a token of their affection.

What Role Does a Dogwood Flower Play in Culture?

It’s interesting that the Middle East, where Christianity originated, has no native dogwood species. However, its meaning in a religious or spiritual sense is frequently connected to this area and the surrounding religious symbolism. Instead, dogwood is indigenous to eastern North America. The dogwood tree is guarded by other trees in its natural habitat, which adds to its symbolism and is important to understand for its maintenance.

The image of resurrection and rebirth is one of the dogwood tree’s most well-known associations, generally through the narrative of Jesus Christ being crucified on a dogwood cross. The cross is said to be represented by the flower’s four petals. According to the Christian faith, God declared that dogwood would never again grow tall enough to form a cross after Jesus was crucified. Along with sadness and sympathy for a particular circumstance, it is frequently seen as a representation of Christianity.

The Dogwood Flower in Popular Culture

Abraham Louis Breguet (1747–1823), who painted “View on Mount Etna,” which depicts a blossoming dogwood tree, is one of several American artists that utilize dogwood flowers as their inspiration for works.

Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” extensively uses dogwood because it appears to be his favorite flower. Many people also think he chose this flower as a metaphor for Alice because of its innocence, purity, and beauty; yet, some think he did it to add a hint of mystery because of its connection to sorcery and witchcraft.

The Dogwood Flower in Japan

Dogwood is referred to as a “white tree” or “shirotae” in Japanese culture. It is crucial to the celebration of Hanami, which takes place in April and involves people congregating under dogwood trees to enjoy sake, wagashi, and the splendor of nature.

How to Get Dogwood Flowers

In a variety of environments and habitats, dogwood blooms can be grown. Because they just need a reasonable quantity of water, full or partial sunlight exposure, and soil that drains well, they are relatively simple to grow. Three techniques exist for growing dogwood.

Assemble the seeds. Plant them as soon as the seeds are ready to be planted in late winter or early spring. These seeds must be sown outside, and they require constant watering. It’s vital to remember that dogwood trees might blossom after up to ten years.

Purchase a young plant. Dogwoods are relatively simple to grow; throughout the spring, many nurseries sell them for sale. It must be planted outdoors, adequately watered, and fertilized once or twice a year to thrive.

Planting flowers in other areas. The alternative is to move a seedling from another location to where you want it to grow (usually near a house). Water should be supplied consistently for this procedure until the plant has established itself completely. Too much water during the flowering season is the most frequent reason for plant failure.

Uses and Benefits of Flowering Dogwood

Wooden items like mallets and tool handles have historically been made from the dense, hardwood of flowering dogwood. Additionally, it was used to create high-end products like jewelry boxes and golf club heads.

Flowering dogwood’s bark and roots were utilized in traditional Native American medicine. The primary usage of these plant parts was as a malaria cure. Dogs with mange were treated with various parts of the blooming dogwood plant.

Small plants like flowering dogwoods are excellent for gardens and backyards. Important pollinators like bees and butterflies are drawn to their blossoms. The berries are a vital summer and fall food source for wild birds.

Common Flowering Dogwood Colors

    1. White Flowering Dogwood Flowers

    White-flowered Cornus florida variants can stand for purity, hope, and innocence. Flowering dogwoods, like other white flowers, make lovely bridal bouquets. Especially in Christianity, these events are associated with innocence and purity.

    The most typical blossom color on flowering dogwoods is white. Along with the connection between Cornus florida flowers and Christianity, white flowers also stand for renewal and rebirth.

    2. Pink Flowering Dogwood Flowers

    Pink blossoms on several flowering dogwood species stand for affection and love. Pink flowers are associated with respect, not just romantic affection but also affection for friends and family. Both platonic and romantic affection can be shown through pink flowering dogwoods.

    3. Red Flowering Dogwood Flowers

    Red-flowered flowering dogwood cultivars are uncommon and represent passion and love. Additionally linked to beauty and strength are red flowers. Red flowers are typically used to express romantic passion and affection between lovers or partners.

Flowering Dogwood Flowers in Christianity

Flowering dogwood is closely associated with Christianity and represents renewal, purity, and hope. Flowering dogwood more especially represents Jesus Christ’s resurrection. The connection is that dogwood was used to make the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Flowers on flowering dogwoods are typically white with tiny red spots. Some Christians think that these scars stand in for both the Crucifixion’s faults and the blood of Christ.


The stunning, historically significant, and symbolic dogwood bloom has numerous meanings. Due to the universal acceptance of their values, they exude an unrivaled positive energy. Purchasing some to use as decoration or to treat certain diseases.

You can still use these things for their aesthetic worth even if you don’t care about them. They are lovely and come in a variety of hues. With them, it is simple to meet your decorating needs.


What Does a Red Dogwood Flower Symbolize?

Red dogwood flowers are frequently used to represent passion and love, making them the ideal present to send to someone you care about.

What Does an Orange Dogwood Flower Symbolize?

The orange flower petals of dogwood flowers typically stand for pleasure, a good attitude, and positive energy.

What Does a Pink Dogwood Flower Mean?

Pink dogwood flowers are sometimes used interchangeably with red flowers to represent love, romance, and affection, just like most other pink flowers.