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Flowering Dogwood

There are about 60 species of dogwoods. The species grown in this part of our garden is known as flowering dogwood. Flowering dogwood is native to eastern North America, including Missouri. It is a small tree with a mature height of up to 30 feet. What appears to be flowers are four distinct bracts that look like petals. These bracts can be white, pink, or red. The actual flowers are the tiny yellow structures in the centers of the bracts. Fruits are small, fleshy, and berry-like. They turn bright red and provide winter treats for birds. Wood from dogwood is very dense and is used to make small things that require strong wood, such as handles of tools or the heads of golf clubs. The origin of the name dogwood is not exact, but some believe it came from “dagwood� because it was used make daggers, arrows, and skewers.

Leaf bud Close-up of leaves White bracts surround a cluster of tiny yellow flowers Pink bracts surrounding a flower cluster Whole dogwood tree