Small tree growing in the understory beneath larger trees. Leaves
oval, with veins that parallel the sides of the leaf, turning yellow and
orange in the fall. Like the majority of dogwoods, it has
opposite leaves, that is they grow in pairs opposite each other on the
twigs. Flowers in mid spring, just as the leaves are
opening. Flowers are very small, yellow, in a cluster surrounded
by four very large white bracts, with indented tips. The flower cluster resembles a
single large flower with 4 white petals. Fruit a cluster of red
berries in the fall. Even in the winter it may be recognized by the very large flower buds.
Beloved native tree of wooded areas. In Wildwood, common in woodlands, especially on the eastern
slope of the Park.
No other native dogwood in this area has four large
white bracts resembling a large flower. Kousa dogwood (C. kousa) is cultivated in other city parks, in yards and on the University
campus, and has been planted near the Outdoor Classroom and in a few other places in the Park. It has similar bracts, but they are pointed rather than indented. It blooms later and the berries
grow together into a single, strawberry-like fruit. When flowering dogwood is not
flowering, the arrangement of veins in the leaves identifies it as a