The dogwood flower, also known as the blossoming dogwood, is an early spring flowering tree that blooms in different shades of white, pink, and red. It belongs to the family of Cornaceae and is native to eastern North America. This special flower has been used in many cultures for centuries as a symbol of rebirth, endurance, and purity. The dogwood was one of the first flowering trees to bloom during springtime.
In ancient Greece, it became associated with Hecate because she is connected to witchcraft and sorcery and being seen as an “underworld goddess” with the power to command ghosts and spirits. In Japan, it is a tree of hope because of its beautiful blossoms that appear before any other trees in April. People who live in New England often use dogwood branches as good luck charms for weddings because they represent love and fidelity; early American settlers also used these same branches in the same way.
In this article, we are going to see all the meanings and symbolism behind the dogwood flower.
Where do Dogwood Flowers Blossom?
We can find dogwoods throughout many regions of the world, including North America, Asia, and Europe. This is because it was spread through trade routes in order to be used for medicinal by early Americans.
The dogwood tree has played an important role throughout human history because it was spread through trade routes by early Americans in order to be used for medicinal purposes. Early American settlers used dogwood flowers and their branches as good luck charms during weddings because of its meaning of love, faithfulness, and purity. Dogwoods are also seen throughout different cultures around the world as symbols for rebirth and hope, because they bloom every time spring starts.
Many cultures around the world have found dogwood flowers useful because of their abilities as natural medicine and painkillers. The American settlers used these flowers in order to cure fevers and colds while the Chinese used them for gout, menstrual cramps, and malaria.
The Dogwood Flower’s History in America
It is believed that the dogwood was first introduced into American culture during the 19th century when several paintings featured this tree. During this time, artists such as Winslow Homer and John Frederick Kensett used these trees in their artwork because of its beauty and the symbolism that it had for them.
In Scotland, the dogwood flower is tied closely with Robert Burns and his poem “Flow Gently Sweet Afton”. It is believed that several of the trees in this area came from one dogwood tree; therefore, some people believe he planted these flowers while he was still alive.
Dogwood Flowers Varieties
Dogwood flowers come in 3 colors:
- Red flowering dogwood
- White flowering dogwood
- Pink flowering dogwood
There isn’t a big difference between the 3 in terms of symbolism. So, if you’re looking for a generic dogwood flower, any of these 3 colors will do.
The Meanings of the Dogwood Flower’s
The dogwood flower is a beautiful and symbolic flower that has been used in many cultures for centuries. The exact meaning behind this symbol can vary depending on the culture it came from, but there are some common themes.
The Dogwood Flower in Popular Culture
Many American artists choose to use dogwood flowers as their inspiration for paintings, such as Abraham Louis Breguet (1747-1823), who painted a piece known as “View on Mount Etna” that features a blossoming dogwood tree.
Dogwoods are featured prominently throughout the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll because it seems it was his favorite flower. Many people also believe that he chose this flower as a symbol for Alice because of its purity, innocence, and beauty; others suggest he wanted to add a more mysterious touch by choosing this flower because of its association with witchcraft and sorcery.
The Dogwood Flower in Japan
In Japanese culture, the dogwood is known as “shirotae” which means “white tree”. It plays an important role in the celebration of Hanami every April where people gather under blossoming dogwood trees to drink sake, eat traditional Japanese snacks known as “wagashi”, and appreciate the beauty of nature.
The Dogwood Flower in New England Folklore
Many early American settlers placed dogwood branches at their wedding ceremony because they believed it represented love and fidelity between two people. These same branches were also used by many cultures in the past as good luck charms for weddings because they represented love, fidelity, and purity.
The Dogwood Flower as a Sign of Faith
In many cultures, the dogwood flower represents faith and hope. This is because it was one of the first trees to bloom during springtime, which gave people something to look forward to after enduring long winters. It has been used by early American settlers, and those in Greece and Japan, who believe in the power of rebirth and hope for a better future.
The Dogwood Flower as a Symbol of Good Luck
Many cultures around the world view different dogwoods with good luck because they are one of the first trees to bloom during early springtime. The Japanese, Scottish, American settlers (in New England), and Greeks all believe that the dogwood brings good luck.
The Dogwood Flower as a Symbol of Love and Fidelity
Dogwoods play an important role in many cultures around the world because of its symbolism of love, faithfulness, purity, rebirth, hope, and fidelity. It is believed that this flower was used by early American settlers during their wedding ceremony to symbolize love and fidelity.
The Dogwood Flower as a Symbol of Purity
Purity is one of the most important themes in Christian symbolism because Jesus Christ represents purity, innocence, and virtue. The legends say the dogwood tree was used for Jesus’ cross because of its strength and resilience, which made it an ideal material for this purpose. Allegedly, it grew in Jerusalem around that time, and was as robust as oak.
The Dogwood Flower as a Symbol of Rebirth and Hope
Dogwoods symbolize rebirth because it is one of the first trees to bloom during early spring, which represents new life. It also plays an important role in many cultures around the world because of its symbolism for purity, faithfulness, and hope. Many American artists choose dogwoods as their inspiration for their paintings because of its association with rebirth and the power to overcome hardships.
Dogwood Flower’s other Uses
People use dogwood for many other reasons aside from its symbolism. Its bark is used to make a brown dye, while we often use the leaves for tea because it has an astringent effect that can help people with diarrhea or stomach ulcers. The dogwood flower might also be one of America’s national flowers, even though it was never officially designated as such.
How to Get Dogwood Flowers
Dogwood flowers can be grown in many climates and areas. They are relatively easy to grow because they require a moderate amount of water, full or partial sunlight exposure, and soil that drains well.
There are three ways to grow a dogwood tree:
- Plant the seeds. Plant the seeds as soon as they ripen, which is in late winter or early spring. These seeds need to be planted outside and should be watered regularly. It is important to note that dogwood trees can take up to ten years before they bloom.
- Buy a young tree. Dogwoods are relatively easy to grow and many nurseries offer them for purchase during the springtime. It will only be necessary to plant it outside, water regularly, and fertilize once or twice per year in order for it to grow successfully.
- Transplanting trees from other areas. The other option is transplanting a seedling from another area and placing it where you want it to grow (usually near a house). For this method, water should be provided regularly until the plant has fully established itself. The most common cause for failure in growing is too much water during the blooming season.
Don’t care about growing them, and just want to buy some good-looking flowers?
Dogwoods are readily available in many areas during the springtime months of April and May. They can be found at local nurseries or even ordered online from companies like The Flower Patch, which offers a wide selection of dogwood flowers when it’s the right time.
Dogwood flowers are beautiful, have a rich history, and can mean many things. The positive energy they carry because of the widespread beliefs of their virtues is unmatched. Getting some for decoration, or even to cure certain illnesses.
Even if you don’t care about these things, you can still use them for their decorative value. They look gorgeous and come in different colors. It is easy to satisfy your decoration needs with them.
Remember, flowers always carry a deeper meaning beyond looking pretty. Shakespeare famously said: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By Any Other Name would smell as sweet.” Was he right? Perhaps (neurolinguists would say no, but I digress), but names also help us associate a flower with its deeper meaning.
Dogwood flowers are common in many cultures, and it’s fascinating how each of them gives it a different meaning. Yet, all of these traits are virtuous. Our ancestors really like these flowers.