dogwood flower meaning

Dogwood Flower (Cornus florida) Meaning and Symbolism

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Though not the most popular flowering tree, the dogwood flower is one that has a certain mystique to be respected. It doesn’t matter where you are from – the dogwood flower is enjoyed by people from all different walks of life and cultures. 

In addition to its undying beauty, despite not being the most common flowering tree, the beautiful flowers of dogwood trees also have some powerful symbolism. Here are some of the meanings that can be attributed to this beautiful bloom. 

What Does Dogwood Mean?

The dogwood tree falls into the Cornus genus. The common name for the Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, is attributed to dogwoods in North America. This variety has been bred extensively by gardeners with the goal of creating new flower colors. 

The European version of the flowering dogwood tree, on the other hand, was originally called a Whipple tree. It later evolved into “dog-tree” and then name dogwood. 

What Do Dogwood Flowers Symbolize?

Dogwoods have interesting symbolic meanings and rich history linked to the Christian tradition. Dogwood flowers are most often used as symbols of rebirth. These flowers are closely connected to Christianity, so that meaning makes sense.

However, dogwood flowers are also connected to durability and the ability to withstand various challenges in life and are thus used by many cultures. Although the dogwood flower is small and delicate looking, it’s actually quite tough. 

Dogwood flowers can symbolize resilience, purity, strength, and affection, too. In the Victorian era, Bachelors would often offer a dogwood flower sprig to the women they are courting as a sign of affection.

What Does a White Dogwood Flower Mean?

White flowers of dogwoods most often have a symbolic meaning related to innocence, purity, and spirituality. 

What Does a Red Dogwood Flower Symbolize? 

A red dogwood flower is usually used to symbolize love and passion, the perfect gift to give to someone you love. 

What Does an Orange Dogwood Flower Symbolize?

Orange dogwood flowers usually represent a positive energy, attitude, and most importantly, the orange flower petals represent happiness. 

What Does a Pink Dogwood Flower Mean?

Pink dogwood flowers, like most other pink flowers, are used to symbolize love, affection, and romance – in most cases, pink flowering dogwoods are interchangeable with red flowers

What is the Cultural Significance of a Dogwood Flower?

Interestingly, there are no dogwood species that are native to the Middle East, where Christianity first developed. However, its symbolism, in the religious or spiritual sense, is often tied to this region and the religious symbolism that surrounds it. The dogwood is native to eastern North America instead. When in its native habitat, the dogwood tree is protected by other trees which adds to its symbolism and is a must-know for its care.

One of the most common meanings of the dogwood tree has to do with the idea of resurrection and rebirth, typically through the story of Jesus Christ being crucified on a dogwood cross. The four petals of the flower are thought to represent the cross. After Jesus was crucified, according to the Christian faith, God declared that dogwoods would never grow tall enough to create a cross again. It is also often viewed as a depiction of Christianity as a whole, along with regret and pity over a specific situation. 

It is often used in woodworking and medicine by Native Americans. The dogwood is also an excellent ornamental plant since it produces the perfect flower in early spring along with stunning red fruit in winter to brighten up your garden. The dogwood flower is also the state flower of North Carolina.

What is the Symbolism of a Dogwood Flower Tattoo?

Long a part of stories and a major theme in legends of the past, the dogwood flower is often used as a symbol of Christianity when chosen as a tattoo. It can also symbolize common themes like faith and rebirth, too.

When Should You Give Someone a Dogwood Flower?

Dogwood flowers aren’t usually gifted in bouquets or arrangements, since they are grown on trees and not as ornamental flower species. However, there are several occasions on which giving a dogwood flower would be perfect. 

For example, you might give someone a dogwood flower when commemorating some kind of religious milestone, like a Confirmation, Baptism, or First Communion.

You could also give the flower to celebrate a Christian holiday or the Easter season. Dogwood flowers are often used to commemorate your condolences to a family after they have experienced a death.

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