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A small, spreading diciduous tree, the Flowering Dogwood is seen mostly in the eastern part of the United States. It will produce large white or pink flowers that usually measure three to four inches across. The flowers are made up of four large bracts surrounding a mass of tiny yellow-green flowers which appear before the leaves. The fruits are shiny red berries in tight bunches at the end of a long stalk. The berries consist of a bitter, mealy pulp that encloses from one to two seeds. The leaves of the Flowering Dogwood are oval with veins curving into the center axis at both ends and they turn bright red in the fall. They have a ferocious appetite in the spring like all flowering trees and should be show cased or planted away from other trees.

Interestingly, the name dogwood tends to cover so many different kinds of shrubs and trees that it tends to confuse most tree lovers. From ankle high creepers, to waist high shrubs, to window high trees on up to the bigger trees in tall forest. The flowers on these trees come in several different designs with the effect coming out about the same on all trees. The leaves on each of the creepers, shrubs and trees are always the same though they vary in size.

Dogwood trees have two different flower patterns. The common flowering dogwood, like most, appear to have flowers which are actually modified leaves called bracts. They usually protect the unopened flowers, which are tiny miniature clusters of flowers. What makes the dogwood tree so spectacular in spring has to do as much with how the tree grows as it does the flowers. Shooting out long branches sideways, every flower shows because they are held face up on the branch.

One of the many varieties of the dogwood is the wild flowering dogwood which grows well in the eastern United States and sport either pink or white flowers. The giant dogwood of the orient tends to grow much in the same manner a ceder tree grows, but is easily distinguished in May when its branches fill with masses of cream colored flowers. The American dogwood springs into color with masses of beautiful red flowers while the Goldspot, which is a form of the pacific dogwood, produces great white blooms that are the largest produced by any other dogwood. The largest of the dogwoods, which grows up to 100 feet in its native environment, is the Pacific dogwood. This amazing tree grows high in the hills of Oregon and brightens the forest with its brilliant branches and a second crop of high white flowers. The best known dogwood is the Cornus florida, which has white or pink flowers in spring and grows well in the northern hemisphere. The hard wood from this tree is used for shuttles and door handles. The borer is an enemy of the dogwood family, but can be easily stopped by sprinkling a cup or two of crushed paradichloro benzene moth crystals beneath the tree on the mulch soil in early spring and late fall.