Writer-naturalist Donald Peattie once wrote, “Lovely as it is, dogwood stoops also to be useful.”
What’s in a Name?
For all the beauty of this tree, the common name of dogwood may come from something less lovely – “dagger.” This, in turn, may actually come from its early use as a skewer, or thin piece of wood used to hold meat together. The tendency of its wood to not splinter made it popular for this purpose.
The scientific genus name, Cornus, derives from the Latin, cornu, or horn, in reference to another use of its hard wood. The species name, florida, is also from Latin, flos, meaning flowery.
The blossoms of dogwood add a welcome touch of color in early spring. If space allows, the white can be accentuated with a background of conifers. Bright autumn foliage and red berries that linger into winter add a bold stroke of color to any landscape design. Read more…