We have a solitary native dogwood on our mountain property. As a true understory tree in this setting it is light, airy and open in structure. It is never covered in blooms as other dogwood species we had in our Georgia garden years ago but the blooms it bears are huge creamy white beauties, each larger than the palm of my hand.
I believe it to be a Cornus nuttallii, commonly called Pacific dogwood or mountain dogwood, which is native to western America from British Columbia to Southern California. As with all dogwoods the white ‘petals’ are actually a modified leaf form called a bract (think the red part on your Christmas poinsettia) and the true flowers are the tiny yellowish green cluster in the center.
In flower lore the dogwood is equated with strength and resilience and said to be the source of the wood from which the cross of Jesus was made. Strength and sacrifice bring to mind all those in our armed forces, including my oldest son Matthew who has served in the United States Navy for 23 years. Thank you to all military personnel for the sacrifices you have made for our freedom.
6 thoughts on “Dogwood day…Memorial Day”
Thank your son for us.
Thanks, Diane! We are really proud of his service. He is a Chief Petty Officer and a Flight Engineer on the EP3 Orion planning to retire in 2019. Hope to see you at the Beach Cities show this weekend–I had a quilt in Paducah this spring so I went ahead and entered it in the guild show.
The bloom in the first picture has five bracts, and two others have six bracts! Is that like a four leaf clover?
The literature on this dogwood indicates that it can have between 4 and 8 bracts surrounding the center flower cluster. I have about a dozen photos of this tree’s blooms over the last couple of years–I just checked looked over them againt and found that while most (at least the ones I photographed) had either 5 or 6 bracts, a couple had seven and only one had 4. Just nature, I guess!
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It is weird. Although they ‘can’ do so, I do not actually remember ever seeing it in our trees, and we had many cultivars.