flowering dogwood
Cornus florida

Flowering dogwood is one of the most well-known and cherished of small flowering trees. It is common in the woods; perhaps more common in suburban yards. All parts of flowering dogwood are consumed by wildlife.

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Light Fall Color. Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      The hard, smooth wood is used for small wooden gadgets needing to withstand rough use. Examples include spools, malletheads, small pulleys.


Wildlife Value
      Seeds, fruits, flowers, twigs, bark, and leaves are all used as food by various species. The fruits, in particular, are eaten by at least 36 species of birds, and many mammals, small and large.
          Attracts: chipmunks, squirrels, birds, foxes, skunks, rabbits, deer, bears

Regeneration methods
      Flowering dogwood is often removed from timber stands in the name of timber stand improvement. It can be regenerated by stump sprouts, seeds, and vegetative cuttings, with partly shady conditions best for survival.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
dogwood anthracnose stem dieback
dogwood borer small holes in stems, frass (a sawdust-like substance)

Fun facts
Flowering dogwood's red fruits, although relished by wildlife, are poisonous to humans. Powderized bark and small twigs were onced used as toothpaste.
Cornus the Latin name for Cornus mas from "cornu" (hard - for the wood). florida flowering Latin "flos" (flower).
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu