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Plants of the UNF Campus

Cornus florida - Flowering dogwood
Family Cornaceae


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.

Care Instructions:

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 for Florida’s 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.

Cornus florida