Cornus florida - Flowering dogwood
About forty-five species of Cornus are native to Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and North America.
They are shrubs and trees. This species is native to the eastern United States
south to central Florida
and into the mountains of Mexico.
This showy “flowers” of the flowering dogwood are actually clusters of small
yellow flowers surrounded by large white bracts that look like petals. Red
fruits are reportedly toxic for people but are eaten by wildlife. Traditionally,
the hard, dense wood of dogwood was used for shuttles for textile weaving, tool
handles, mallet heads, and other specialty products.
See this plant on the north side of building 51.
Small tree to about twenty-five feet tall or more.
Light: sun, part shade, shade
Water: moist soil, well-drained soil
Soil: adaptable to soil types, no other special requirements
In north Florida,
this native plant grows best in a sunny to partly shaded site with a moist,
well-drained soil. Select southern varieties like ‘Weaver’ that have tolerance
summer heat and resistance to anthracnose disease. Traditional pink-flowered
varieties do not tolerate Florida’s
summer heat. Efforts are underway to find a pink dogwood for the deep south.