Flowering dogwood has spreading horizontal branches and distinctive white flowers in spring. The 3" diameter flower clusters bloom mid-April to mid-May, attracting a number of butterflies and other pollinators. This small landscape tree flowers profusely and has showy, overlapping white bracts. Clusters of glossy red fruit mature in fall and persist into winter when they are eaten by birds. The leaves turn scarlet red in fall.
Very early to bloom
Nectar and pollen attracts butterflies and other pollinators
Berries provide excellent food for birds such as robins, catbirds, mourning doves
Provides nesting sites for a number of birds
Good fall color
Attractive winter form
Woods from southeastern Maine to southern Ontario and Michigan south to Illinois, Oklahoma, Northeastern Mexico and Florida.
Map Credit: The Biota of North America Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)
The true flowers of flowering dogwoods are actually tiny, yellow green structures compacted into round clusters. Each flower cluster is surrounded by four showy, white, petal-like bracts which open flat, giving the appearance of a single, large, 3-4" diameter, white flower.
Grow in full sun to part shade. Plant in well-drained soil with adequate soil moisture. Does not tolerate dry soil. Prefers organically rich, acidic soil in part shade. A 4" layer of organic mulch helps keep roots cool and moist in summer.