Virginia State Flower
Flowering Dogwood (common name)
Cornus florida (scientific name)
The flowering dogwood, known to most people simply as the dogwood, is one of America's most popular ornamental trees. The structure of the "flower" is unusual. Around 20 tiny, greenish-yellow flowers, each with four petals, are produced in a dense, round flower-head. This is surrounded by four large white, pink or red bracts that resemble petals. These broad, rounded false petals often have a distinctive notch at the tip. The flowers are bisexual.
The wood of dogwood is very hard and is used in the manufacture of commercial loom shuttles and spindles. In the past its bark was also used in the production of inks and scarlet dyes and as a quinine substitute. Because of its thin bark, flowering dogwood is readily injured by fire and flooding. Many species of birds rely on the dogwood as a food source, but they seldom use it as a nesting site.
Mature Height: 15–30 ft (9 m–4.6 m) tall and 15–35 ft (4.6–10.7 m) wide.
Flowering: Early April in the southern part of its range, to late April or early May in northern and high altitude areas
Flowers: 0.4–0.8 in (1–2 cm) diameter, petals 0.2 in (4 mm) long, surrounding "petals" 1.1 in (3 cm) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) wide
Flower Color: White, yellow, pink, or red
Leaves: Large, dark green, pointed oval leaves
Fruit/Seed Color: Bright red, half-inch (1.3 cm) long, football-shaped fruit
Location: moist, well-drained, fertile areas and mixed hardwood forests or the edges of pine forests.
Range: Eastern North America, from southern Maine in the east to eastern Kansas in the west, and south to eastern Texas and northern Florida.
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|Author: World Trade Press|