Tree of April 2021: Flowering Dogwood

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Celebrate Earth Month with TreesCharlotte!

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

To kick off the spring season, our fourth tree of the month is the Flowering Dogwood! Part of the Dogwood Family (Cornaceae), the flowering dogwood is typically an understory tree when found in the wild, but its attractive flowers and shape bring an appealing, spring look to any yard or garden. It also stands out in the summertime with its rich green foliage! They can be prone to leaf-scorch when planted in full sun, so be sure to find a spot with some shade for them. They naturally begin to bloom in April and are native to North Carolina.

Size at maturity:

Height: 25-40 feet

Crown Spread: 10-15 feet


  • Flatted or rounded crown, small to medium in size.


  • Green, has an alternate leaf arrangement and acutely veined with smooth to wavy margin.


  • Large and showy white (or pink) bracts that surround tight clusters of green flowers.


  • Red, oval drupes that mature (ripen) in the fall. 


  • Partial shade.


  • Well-drained, moist, organically rich and acidic soils (not overly wet though).


  • Grows between 13 and 24 inches annually.

Natural Range:

Flowering dogwoods can be found throughout the eastern US, ranging from Maine to the Gulf Coast and can extend as far west as Texas.


Flowering dogwoods are most often used as ornamental trees in yards and gardens. The wood is used for products like spools and jewelry boxes, the root and stem bark is used as a substitute for quinine.

Environmental/Wildlife Benefits:

The fruits are an important food for migrating birds. The flowers, bark, and leaves are also eaten by a variety of wildlife, such as quail, deer, and squirrels. It can also be used as medicine for headaches, fevers, and fatigue.

Fun fact:

The Dogwood flower is the state flower of North Carolina!