The flowering dogwood is a species of dogwood native to eastern North America. Areas of eastern North America where the flowering dogwood can be found thriving and growing include southern Maine, southern Ontario, eastern Kansas and south to northern Florida and eastern Texas and some regions of Illinois. There is also a population of flowering dogwood that call eastern Mexico home as well.
The flowering dogwood is classified as a deciduous tree meaning it loses its leaves in the fall and regains them when spring begins to approach. Flowering dogwoods can be found reaching heights of 33 feet and tend to be wider than tall when totally mature. The trunk diameter of the flowering dogwood can be anywhere between 1 to 1.5 feet. The leaves of the dogwood are often simple, ovate and finely toothed, and turn a dark brown almost red color in the fall. The leaves of this species of dogwood grow to a common length of about five inches with a spread of about 2 and half inches. The leaves of a flowering dogwood are a shiny green color on top and underneath are usually a paler green and are attached to the branches by short green stalks. The branches grow in an horizontal fashion and the twigs that protrude from the branches are a beautiful purple color.
The bracts which closely resemble petals are greenish yellow in color sometimes appearing white. The flowers can usually be found growing in an umbel shape similar to that of an umbrella turned inside out. Each umbel consists of a cluster of twenty or so flowers, each spanning about 2 inches in diameter. Most of the trees will have beautiful while flowers but some cultivates have been made to produce pink clusters of flowers.
The flowering dogwood also produces a fruit or drupe and there are usually a totally of ten drupes per cluster. Each fruit is between 10 to 15 mm in length which ripens towards the end of summer at which point they turn a vibrant bright red color. The fruit commonly contains one large seed which is used for propagation and is a common food for many birds.
The bark of the flowering dogwood has been described as being very attractive making this particular species of tree a great ornamental addition to any yard or landscape. The bark is commonly dark gray, brown and sometime black. It develops in squares and sometimes rectangular shapes and tends to look like the skin of an alligator.