Flowering Dogwood Tree Symbolism Facts & Meaning: Zodiac, Superstitions, Dreams, and Myths
Flowering Dogwood Tree Facts
Flowering Dogwood is a beautiful tree commonly seen in North America. This tree can grow up to 40 feet and spreads multiple thin trunks. During the summer and fall, the leaves of the Flowering Dogwood turn to scarlet or deep orange in color. Interestingly, the tree commonly becomes an attraction to people during spring for its snowy flowers which can range from white, cream, and pink. This pretty array of white flowers during the spring season inspired the name “flowering.”
The “dogwood” name came about with the usage of its wood for making dog skewers, and not the notion, being the fruit is edible, that it is suitable for dog animals. In Virginia, the Flowering Dogwood was declared as the state flower in 1918 and the state tree in 1956. This tree is also the official arboreal emblem of Missouri.
Flowering Dogwood Tree Uses
The Flowering Dogwood needs quite a bit of care and attention to grow. Yet, it is a popular ornamental plant around houses because of its showy display of leaves and flowers during spring, summer, and fall. The wood of this tree is best used for weaving shuttles and golf clubs due to its shock resistant properties.
Having the tree originated in Northern America, the Native Americans have carefully studied the properties of the Flowering Dogwood Tree. When the tree starts to unfurl its bract, this signifies the onset of spring and planting of crops. The roots and bark of the Flowering Dogwood also produce a red dye. It was usually being used on eagle feathers in the past. Boiled dried bark of the tree were also being prepared as a cure for malaria while the boiled flowers serve as a remedy for fever and colic.
Flowering Dogwood Tree History
The Flowering Dogwood originated in southeastern Canada, North America, and eastern Mexico. This tree has been growing in these areas ever since. It is also said that Thomas Jefferson was attracted to the Flowering Dogwood and brought to his home in Virginia to grow. The Flowering Dogwood then became the state flower and tree of Virginia. In 1915, the United States gave Flowering Dogwood Trees to Japan to reciprocate the cherry blossom trees sent by Tokyo.
Flowering Dogwood Tree Positive Symbolism
The author of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, featured the Flowering Dogwood in his book prominently because it is his favorite flower. According to some, Lewis Carroll intended to associate the Flowering Dogwood to Alice because the flower represents purity, beauty, and innocence. The white colored bracts around the flower also signify purity. Similarly, the trunk represents innocence, strength, and purity to some Christians who believed it was used to make the cross for Jesus.
In Japan, the Flowering Dogwood and other flowering trees play important roles during the Hanami festival held on the month of April. This festival reminds the people of the beauty of nature and also signifies the welcoming of spring. Since the flowers bloom to indicate spring, the Flowering Dogwood is also a sign of rebirth and hope. Many artists incorporate this theme in their paintings.
Flowering Dogwood Tree Negative Symbolism
In some beliefs, the red color of flowers can mean death. In relation to the symbolism of rebirth and resurrection of the Flowering Dogwood, the red tips of its bracts can indirectly refer to death. Others believe that this can also mean pity for yourself or others. When used as a gift to a special someone, the Flowering Dogwood implies that you are attracted to someone who does not feel the same way. It is a warning to better cut the romance or you’ll end up pitying yourself of a heartbreak.
Flowering Dogwood Tree Cultural Symbolism
The most prominent story about the Flowering Dogwood is its relationship with Jesus. It is said that this tree grew in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus on earth.
The Flowering Dogwood was a sturdy and tall tree. To make the cross on which Jesus was nailed, the Flowering Dogwood was chosen. The tree felt ashamed because of this. Therefore, it was cursed to grow small and thin so that it would never be made into a cross again. It was also blessed to signify rebirth, resurrection, and hope. The four bracts of the flower which looks like a cross is a proof of this blessing.
For the Native Americans, the Flowering Dogwood is one of the Tree of Life in the Skyworld where supernatural beings lived. It is associated to masculine energy and it is a symbol for good luck. All of its parts, from the roots to the fruits, have significant meanings and uses in their culture.
Flowering Dogwood Tree Zodiac Sign
The Flowering Dogwood is under the house of the moon. Cancer-born people are associated with the Flowering Dogwood. These people can be emotional and practical thinkers. In Celtic Tree signs, the Dogwood represents people born from October 21 to 30. Just like the Flowering Dogwood, these people are resilient and sensible.
Flowering Dogwood Tree in Dreams
The spiritual meaning of the Flowering Dogwood is rebirth and hope as it blooms when spring has come. If you see a Flowering Dogwood in a dream, it can mean that you are struggling or going through a difficult time. However, it also reminds you to be hopeful as you can experience rebirth or new journey after the difficulty.
Flowering Dogwood Tree Omens and Superstitions
According to superstition, it is bad luck to burn Flowering Dogwood indoors. There is no explanation for this, but this may have been used to prevent people from destroying this sacred tree. The branches and trunk of the tree are also resilient and heat resistant so they do not make good firewood.
It is also bad luck to pluck the flowers of the Flowering Dogwood and bring it home. Scientifically, cutting flowers of this tree improperly can damage it and affects its growth. Metaphorically, the red tips of the bracts symbolize blood which may not be a good omen to bring into the house.
Flowering Dogwood Tree Mythology and Folklore
Hecate is the Greek goddess of protection and hidden knowledge. Her symbols include the dog and the dagger. Speculations say that the dagger of Hecate is made from the Flowering Dogwood which has associated her to the tree.
In Indian folklore, the flowers of the Flowering Dogwood were used by a Cherokee princess to soak her blood while neared death. The blood then remained on the tips of the bracts of the flowers as a reminder of her bravery.