Last updated on May 20th, 2023 at 10:38 pm

Dogwood encompasses a genus that includes herbs, shrubs, and trees (genus Cornus). In these categories of plants, some shrubs and trees produce flowers. These “flowering dogwood” plants generate tiny flowers with large bracts resembling petals.

The dogwood plants belong to East Asia, Europe, and North America. Most of these plants and trees, grown primarily for their delicate flowers and multicolored twigs, have beautifully variegated leaves. 

The dogwood plants creating flowers are grown in North America, parts of Mexico, and Europe. White dogwood flowers emerge mainly from North America, whereas pink flowering dogwood has its roots in Europe; this is the “cherry” variety of dogwood. Nonetheless, both varieties occur in all regions where dogwood is cultivated in the present day.

As people picture typical dogwood plants, the flowering varieties come to mind. Dogwood flowers come with the vision of white, red, or pink floral-looking plants. What you may see as these colorful petals are bracts that surround the minute dogwood flower in the center. 

The dogwood tree these florets grow on is deciduous and short in stature. Other groups of dogwood florets are yellow and green (Japanese dogwood), growing in a shrub or a tree. 

Currently, Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan host several trees. The flower category of the dogwood tree and shrub originates in the breeding of these plants by gardeners all over the world. 

There is a constant movement to have more forms of the flower in different colors.

What does the Dogwood flower symbolize?

Regarding the dogwood flower and the symbolic meaning behind it, there is a religious undertone. The dogwood flower’s meaning relates to many concepts, such as rebirth, purity, strength, durability, and affection. Nonetheless, the dogwood flower’s most crucial link is Christianity. This is central to its connection with all the concepts of rebirth, affection, strength, etc. 

The primary meaning that this flower is derived from is that of Christianity. This belief, prevalent for centuries, has had many individuals use the flower in religious ceremonies and rituals. 

The flower is also displayed at auspicious events and in religious places like churches. It is likely that dogwood trees and shrubs, at least of the flowering type, present themselves in churchyards.

All in all, the dogwood flower symbolic meanings are:

  • rebirth
  • resurrection
  • hope
  • purity
  • faithfulness
  • hope
  • resilience
  • affection

Meaning of the Dogwood flower colors

White color

Symbolic of innocence, spirituality, peace, and purity, white dogwood is the typical example of a flower linked to Christianity. White is the perfect color that exemplifies all things pristine and pure. White flowering dogwood is often used to decorate the sites of baptisms and weddings.

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Pink color

Some flowering dogwood varieties have pink flowers, representing affection and love. The association between pink flowers includes romantic feelings and affection for friends and family. Pink dogwood flowers can be used to convey both platonic and romantic affection.

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Red color

Flowering dogwood cultivars with red flowers, symbolizing love and passion, are rare. Red flowers are also associated with beauty and power. Red dogwood flowers can convey romantic love and passion between partners or lovers.

Purple color

Significantly, the dogwood flower’s meaning, when it comes to purplish flowers, is symbolic of royalty and wealth. Although only a few individuals go in for this flower, you may want to as it stands out.

Interesting facts about the Dogwood flowers

  • The genus of this plant contains over 45 various species.
  • The most popular dogwood flower is the white flower.
  • Shrubs and bushes containing dogwood flowers grow up to 3 meters high.
  • Dogwood makes for a nice mix of garden shrubs or is planted individually with a sole flowering dogwood variety.
  • In terms of flowering dogwood, the pink to purple varieties are slowly gaining fame all around the world. 
  • A new and unique variety of flowering dogwood has emerged through decades of breeding. This is reminiscent of a plant with large white flowers, highly resistant to pests and diseases.
  • The new and large white variety grows vigorously and is called “Venus.” It needs space to grow and reaches a height of almost 6 meters if left uncut upon flowering.
  • Any Asian variety of dogwood is sensitive and requires more care than the usual white and pink varieties.

How to grow Dogwood flowers

Flowering dogwoods are little perennial trees that return year after year. They are deciduous, and their leaves fall off in the fall and winter.

  1. Plant the dogwood in well-drained, rich soil.
  2. Place them in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
  3. Mix compost into the soil at your desired planting spot to help with soil richness and acidity.
  4. After planting, thoroughly water the dogwood.
  5. Apply very little fertilizer during the first year.

How to care for Dogwood flowers

  1. Water the dogwood daily for the first few weeks after planting, then once a week in mild areas and every few days in hot conditions.
  2. Cover the base with a heavy layer of mulch.
  3. Apply only a small amount of slow-release fertilizer.
  4. Remove any infected, ill, or injured limbs.
  5. Prune some healthy limbs to thin the canopy of the dogwood and enhance airflow through the branches.
  6. Use a natural insecticide on any infested sections of the tree.

Best time to gift Dogwood flowers

Whether you consider the meaning of the dogwood flower or not, gifting someone flowers or seedlings to grow a new plant is a good idea.  

Depending on the occasion, you can choose your bouquet gift accordingly. The best time to give someone these flowers would be at a wedding, a birthday, or any event that demands their elegant beauty. 

The underlying message of this flower is that of reliability and purity of thought. This comes from the fact that the dogwood plant could endure challenging conditions and sustain itself for long periods.


Dogwood flowers come in many colors as they exist today, but not because these were originally intended. Several colors of the dogwood florets have arisen mainly due to breeding. 

The original color of the flowering dogwood is white. Nevertheless, different shades of dogwood have become commonplace nowadays, and it is necessary to realize the meaning of a dogwood flower as it pertains to different flower hues. 

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!