When the dogwood blooms in springtime, it is a sight to behold. The showy flowers emerge white, pink, or rosy red, but disappear in summer leaving attractive dark green foliage; followed by berries in the fall and a dazzling display of colorful leaves. It’s a relatively small tree, reaching heights of 15-20 feet, and maintains an attractive silhouette, contributing to its popularity in home landscapes and city streets. I found this one in a nearby woodland area last May.
Another flower, the ‘Virginia creeper’ was also proposed for the state flower, but it was the American Dogwood (Cornus florida), supported by various Garden Clubs, that contributed to its adoption on March 6, 1918--declaring it to be the floral emblem of the Commonwealth. Despite the title of “state flower” it is most assuredly a tree. Virginia is the only state to have the same state flower and state tree. According to the 'Language of Flowers Almanac', Dogwood represents "durability" even though it looks quite delicate.
The mature bark is also interesting. It is sometimes scaly or blocky. Long ago, it was recorded that, a tincture was created by boiling the bark to treat dogs for mange, which may be where the common name "dog wood" originated.
Though blossoms vary in hue, the legislation does not stipulate a particular color. Since white is the most common, it's the color I chose to use for my flower block. The centers are actually more a purplish green, not yellow--as I did them...but, oh well. We are learning things as we go along.
COLORS: flowers--cream #3823; inner line on petals--blush pink #758; centers--yellow #744; tips of petals--reddish brown #356; leaves & stems--green #988; letters--smoke gray #645.