Photo Gallery: Flowering Dogwood Blooms

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A Photo Gallery of Flowering Dogwood Blooms in Spring

Flowering Dogwood
coniferconifer/Flickr/ (CC BY 2.0)

The showy "flowers" of the flowering dogwood are, in fact, not flowers but bracts that subtend and surround a group or boss of 20 to 30 real flowers. These true flowers are less than one-quarter inch in size. The actual flowers of Cornus florida are not white.

Unfortunately, the tree is being attacked by a disease called dogwood anthracnose and is in some stress at higher elevations. Dogwood has a natural range throughout the eastern United States - from southern Maine down to north Florida and west to the Mississippi River.

Flowering dogwood grows 20 to 35 feet tall and spreads 25 to 30 feet. It can be trained with one central trunk or as a multi-trunked tree.

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Wild Dogwood Flower Bloom

Flowering Dogwood
Scott Rettberg/Flickr/(CC BY 2.0)

The flowers consist of four bracts below the small head of yellow flowers. The bracts may be pink or red depending on cultivar but the species color is white.

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Multiple Dogwood Blooms

Flowering dogwood blossom
Liz West/Flickr/(CC BY 2.0)

Some call flowering dogwood the "queen" of North American forests. Graceful branching, unique blossoms, red berries and red fall foliage makes it unforgettable.

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Wild Dogwood Form

DukeForest dogwood against big oak
Dcrjsr/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Dogwood has a symmetrical canopy with a regular (or smooth) outline. Individual trees have very similar and uniquely species specific crown forms.

Dogwood branches on the lower half of the crown grow horizontally, those in the upper half are more upright. In time, this can lend a strikingly horizontal impact to the landscape, particularly if some branches are thinned to open up the crown.

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Wild Flowering Dogwood Bloom

Flowering dogwood
terry priest/Flickr/terry priest(CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dogwood bracts are white and the actual flower is tiny and yellow. Dogwood flowers are spring bloomers and very showy.

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Domestic White Flowering Dogwood

A dogwood tree is seen in bloom
Andrew Redington / Getty Images

Domestic dogwood bracts may be pink or red depending on cultivar but the species color is white.

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Flowering Dogwood Form

Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida Tree Flowers
Derek Ramsey/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0)

Flowering dogwood is not suited for parking lot planting but can be grown in a wide street median.

Dogwoods prefer and thrive with less than full-day sun and some irrigation. It is a standard tree in many gardens where it is used by the patio for light shade.

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Pink Flowering Dogwood

Pink Dogwood Flowers - West Virginia Commons/(CC BY-SA 3.0)

Pink-flowering cultivars grow poorly in USDA hardiness zones 8 and 9.

Several pink and white dogwood cultivars include:

Apple Blossom - pink bracts; Cherokee Chief - red bracts; Cherokee Princess - white bracts; Cloud 9 - white bracts, flowers young; Fastigiata - upright growth while young, spreading with age; First Lady - leaves variegated with yellow turning red and maroon in the fall; Gigantea - bracts six inches from tip of one bract to tip of opposite bract.

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Pink Dogwood Form

USA - Spring - Dogwood Trees - Blossoms
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Flowering Dogwood prefers a deep, rich, well-drained, sandy or clay soil and has a moderately long life.

It is not recommended in heavy, wet soils unless it is grown on a raised bed to keep roots on the dry side. The roots will rot in soils without adequate drainage.