Adopted in 1941.
The General Assembly of 1941
designated the dogwood, Cornus
florida, also know as boxwood and
cornel as the State Flower. (Public
Laws, 1941, c. 289; G.S. 145-1).
The fowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
is one of America's most popular
Known to most people simply as dogwood, it has other common names,
including boxwood and cornel. The
species name florida is Latin for
flowering, but the showy petal-like
bracts are not in fact flowers. The
bright red fruit of this fast-growing
short-lived tree are poisonous to humans
but provide a great variety of wildlife
with food. The wood is smooth, hard and
close-textured and now used for
- Flower: Flowers are
highly modified leaves that perform
reproductive functions for plants
that bear them. A flower petal is
merely a special leaf that typically
through brightly colored pigment may
attract a pollinator. The actual
reproductive work of the flower is
conducted by the stamens (which bear
pollen) and the pistil (which
receives the pollen and allows it to
contact the flower ovary, where a
fruit is produced).
- The small flower clusters on the
Flowering Dogwood are surrounded by
4 large, showy bracts that are often
mistaken as petals. Each
quarter-inch flower has four tightly
curved petals, plus two stamens and
a single pistil. Flowers that have
dropped their petals is a sign they
likely have been pollinated.
Eventually, after all the white
bracts and tiny petals have fallen,
the remaining flower parts will
wither and turn brown, giving rise
to several fertilized ovaries, the
bright green berries that turn
scarlet as they ripen.
- Flowering dogwood blooms in
either white or pink, depending on
the cultivar, and 2 inches in
diameter. Appearing March to April
in the south, June in the north.
- Leaf: Opposite, simple,
arcuately veined, 3 to 6 inches
long, oval in shape with an entire
- Fruit: A shiny, oval red
drupe, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, in
clusters of 3 to 4. Maturing in
September to October.
- Twig: Slender, green or
purple, later turning gray, often
with a glaucous bloom. The terminal
flower buds are clove-shaped,
vegetative buds resemble a cat claw.
- Bark: Gray when young,
turning very scaly to blocky.
- Form: A small tree with a
short trunk that branches low,
producing a flat-topped crown.
Branches are opposite, and assume a
||Plantae -- Plants
||Tracheobionta -- Vascular
Spermatophyta – Seed plants
||Magnoliophyta – Flowering
||Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
||Cornaceae – Dogwood family
||Cornus L. – dogwood
Cornus florida L. –