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Dogwood Flower


The Dogwood flower is a small flower cluster. The flower cluster is surrounded by 4 large showy bracts that are often mistaken as petals. The four white "petals" aren't petals at all, but rather bracts, which are modified leaves.

The actual flowers are the tiny greenish-yellow objects in the center of the thing people usually call dogwood flowers, but which is actually a flowering head. When the early spring flowers seem to present themselves before the leaves come out, they are actually modified leaves.

When the bracts of the dogwood flower are fully open, they measure about two inches in diameter. Flowering dogwood blooms in either white or pink, depending on the cultivar.

Some of the white Dogwood flower cultivars are ‘Barton’, Cherokee Princes’, ‘Plena’, ‘Cherokee Daybreak’, and the White Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida).

The pink and red Dogwood flower is exhibited by cultivars such as ‘Cherokee Chief’, ‘Cherokee Sunset’ and ‘Stokes Pink’.

All dogwoods are potential flower producers; however, trees grown from seed vary in the age at which they begin flowering. Fast growers will usually be delayed in beginning the flowering cycle.

Those which produce an abundance of Dogwood flowers and follow up with a heavy berry crop will likely produce a small number of flowers the next year. Also, trees located in heavy shade tend to produce fewer flowers than those in full sun.

Dogwood flower buds are quite evident in September; therefore, it is possible to predict the number of flowers that will be produced the next spring.

The Dogwood tree and the Dogwood flower are beautiful harbingers of spring and are the state flower of Virginia and North Carolina.


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