Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dogwoods in bloom

dogwood blossom

Dogwood in bloom; photo taken yesterday.

The Flowering dogwood, Cornus florida, is the Missouri state tree, and its native range extends eastward from the Great Plains, from Toronto to central Florida. The name ‘dogwood’ is a corruption of ‘dagwood’: the wood of Cornus species is very hard and dense, and was used to make daggers or skewers for cooking, as well as golf club heads, tool handles, and arrow shafts. Its was also used as a substitute for quinine and for making scarlet dyes. Another name for this is whippletree, as found in Chaucer. The ends of the flower petals are ragged and sometimes red in color, and so this flower is a symbol of the Crucifixion.

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