Dogwood Flower – Meaning, Symbolism and Colors

Flower symbolism and meaning helps us pick the right flower for a special person and also teaches us life lessons by giving us a broader idea of the history and meanings behind every flower. Symbolic meanings of flowers are created by people, various occasions and events, and sometimes imposed itself through the story.

On the other side, our ancestors created and developed beliefs that passed through past generations and now affect us and our lives. This means some of the meanings flowers carry came from our grandparents and will be transferred to our grandchildren too.

You must have already heard many interesting stories about certain flowers and their species, but there are many, many more. If you want to get to know a certain flower, you would probably be surprised when you find out that it actually has a much stronger significance than just simply giving it to someone.

You will send various messages by gifting flowers to different people and that is why you should get familiar with those secret messages behind flowers you usually pick as gifts.

Today we will talk about the Dogwood flower as this one is truly interesting and carries a lot of hidden symbolic we should know.

What is the Meaning of the Dogwood Flower?

The main meanings of the Dogwood flower are:

• Durability,
• Rebirth,
• Affection,
• Purity,
• Strength,
• Affection,
• Christianity.

Being able to endure various difficulties in life is a big task, represented by the Dogwood flower. This flower symbolizes durability, as it can survive very hard conditions even though the Dogwood flower seems so small, gentle, and fragile. Make sure to keep this meaning of the Dogwood flower when gifting it to someone close to you who is passing through some issues and express your support and hope for the better.

Dogwood flower stands for resurrection and rebirth as this flower is tightly related to Jesus Christ and his resurrection. We will talk more about the Christian meaning of the Dogwood flower in the following paragraphs, as for now, it is nice to know that this flower carries a deep and very strong symbolic meaning behind it.

This flower also means affection and love, so you can give the Dogwood flower to any person you find attractive or towards whom you feel affection. You wouldn’t have to think about a serious relationship with that person, it would be just enough to gift the Dogwood flower and see what happens in the future.

Dogwood flower tells us to enjoy the moment, our emotions and not to get into things too deep before you get a reaction from the other side.

We already mentioned that the Dogwood flower is associated with Christianity. White Dogwood flower is a symbol of purity and innocence, which makes it a perfect wedding and baptisms decoration, as the symbolic goes perfectly with such events.

However, the Dogwood flower in other colors is widely used in all religious ceremonies and gatherings in Christianity.

Dogwood flower looks like it is easy to break, but this is actually not the case with this beautiful flower. It is extremely durable and withstands even the most difficult conditions, which is also a message Christianity teaches us – that we will overcome all our worries and challenges that stand in front of us if our spirit and our faith are strong. If you believe someone you know is a strong person, give them the Dogwood flower, as this will mean the world to that person.

The Etymological Meaning of the Dogwood Flower

Dogwood flower comes from the Cornus genus and that is why many people call it Cornus Florida or the Flowering Dogwood. People in North America use the first nickname of this flower mostly. Botanists and gardeners bred the Dogwood flower and succeeded to develop various colors of this flower. European cultures have a specific nickname for this flower – the whippletree. This nickname evolved going from dog-tree to Dogwood.

What is interesting, there is almost no connection between the Cornus name and the name Dogwood. Seems like this flower got its name after something that used to remind this flower of a tree, but still had something specific.

Another version of the story is that the initial name of the Dogwood flower was Dagwood. Dag is a type of wood used for making arrows and darts and it was perfect for making wooden objects in general, but the name changes into Dogwood with time.

The Symbolism of the Dogwood Flower

Dogwood flower has extremely strong symbolic in Christianity world as it is believed that the Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross made of the Dogwood. People continued to use the Dogwood flower in religious ceremonies as it symbolizes Christ and his presence. As a symbol of faith and religion, the Dogwood flower is almost never used as a part of flower arrangements which ones are not related to religion and Christianity.

Victorians worshiped the Dogwood flower too, but it served for different purposes. A bachelor would offer the Dogwood flower to a woman who with he was in love and waited for her to say yes to him. If the lady returned the flower, that meant she is letting him down and that she is not interested in the proposal, but if the woman kept the flower at herself, that meant she was saying yes and liked him back. This is an obvious reason why the Dogwood flower symbolized love and affection among Victorians.

We already mentioned the Dogwood flower is a symbol of durability and reliability because it is able to endure tough conditions for a very long time and that is the reason why this flower survived until this day.

Dogwood flower is definitely an important symbol in many cultures and countries. The state of Missouri and the state of North Carolina proclaimed the Dogwood flower their official state flower. Interesting, the Dogwood flower was a dog treat, which is also one of the possible explanations of its name. Japan and Washington D.C. exchanged the Dogwood flower as a friendly gift between two countries.

Dogwood Flower – Color and Meaning

Colors generally have a strong impact on our minds and our psyche so that you should pay attention to flower color when giving it to someone. You know flowers come in so many varieties that certain colors symbolize positive and good traits, while others stand for negative ones. Dogwood flower’s original color is white, but the botanists developed several more colors of this plant so it comes additionally in red, pink, orange, and purple.

White Dogwood flower, as we already mentioned, symbolizes spirituality, innocence, purity, faith, and hope and the Dogwood flower in this color is widely used as a symbol of Christian utmost traits. The color of white is pretty neutral so you can give the white Dogwood flower to a person you love, adore, respect, admire as it won’t send the wrong message.

Red Dogwood flower is a perfect gift for someone towards whom you feel passion, love, and physical attraction. However, the red Dogwood flower is not so common flower in decorations and arrangements for various events. Of course, you still can give it to your partner and show how strong and deep your emotions and desires are towards that person.

Pink Dogwood flower is, on the other side, a perfect decoration for your garden as it attracts attention easily. Dogwood flower in pink color symbolizes affection, sweet love, and romance. You can be carefree when gifting the pink Dogwood flower as it sends mild vibes and expresses gentle and decent intentions, no matter to whom you are giving it – your mother, beloved person, a friend.

Orange Dogwood flower is a symbol of happiness, sun energy, positive attitude, positive vibes, and success. Only one glance at the orange Dogwood flower will make your day as it brings in good energy and attracts positive changes so you can plant it in your garden and enjoy its vibes during the blooming period.

Purple Dogwood flower is definitely peculiar by its appearance and its symbolic. If you want to show someone that they are different from everybody else and take a special place in your heart, give that person the purple Dogwood flower. Purple Dogwood symbolizes wealth, beauty, elegance, royalty, and mystery.

Botanical Characteristics of the Dogwood Flower

The genus of the Dogwood flower includes many sorts, going from low ones to shrubs, and counts about 45 different species. The most common and the most famous Dogwood flower species are the ones that grow up to 3 meters in height and these are usually planted near fences so they make mixed shrub fences, but you can plant it individually too.

The most popular red Dogwood flower is the Siberian Dogwood flower, while the purple one is called alba Spaethii. A new variety of the Dogwood flower – Venus is a newly welcomed to the list of the top 5 Dogwood flower species.

What is great about new sorts of this flower is that the botanists developed highly resistant species to pests and diseases. These new species of the Dogwood have large flowers and their growth sometimes goes vigorously so that you would have to cut them after flowering. The already mentioned Venus usually grows up to 6 meters but it can grow larger in size while it ages. If you have some other species of the Dogwood flower or you grow other plants in your garden, make sure to keep the growth of the Dogwood in control.

Dogwood flower has many varieties, but some of them are more prone to disease of leaves in comparison to others. One of these is the American Dogwood flower with its gorgeous and large flowers, but some people avoid it just because of the disease. On the other side, the Japanese and the Chinese Dogwood flower appeared to be more resistant and are being planted all around the world in the last few years. Cornus nuttallii or the Asian Dogwood belongs to sensitive species and needs some more attention.

Dogwood flower reveals its true magic in May and June, but you can see some great flowers in autumn too. In autumn, the Dogwood flower colors mix with strawberries and make an incredible spectrum of colors in your garden. Dogwood’s fruits are edible, but the question is if you would like the taste. Most people don’t like the taste of the Dogwood’s fruit, but you can still try it. We would recommend you to leave the Dogwood flowers as a decoration on the bush.

When planting the Dogwood tree, make sure to give it the right habitat. Dogwood tree likes half-shaded positions and soils rich in humus but slightly sour. If you have some rhododendrons in your garden, the Dogwood flowers will make it a great companion. As it is hard to find sour soils in all parts of the world, you can also add some lemon juice to a place where you want to plant the Dogwood tree.

Dogwood Flower – Fun Facts

Dogwood tree’s fruits are also known as stone fruits and they are oval-shaped, resemble of berries, and are red or pink colored.

Wild species, birds, and mammals adore the Dogwood berries.

Dogwood is used in the production of roller skates, golf club heads, tool handles, spools, and spindles.

If you provide your Dogwood tree optimal conditions, you can expect it to live for about 25 to 30 years.


We should all have faith, not only in the bad times but always. There is no obstacle that can break our spirits if our faith is strong and if we are hoping and praying for the best.

Dogwood flower tells us to endure, to be strong, and persistent, as there will be some tough challenges in front of you on your life road, but that doesn’t mean you should surrender to them.

If you have pure intentions and you are full of love, there is nothing that will harm or hurt you, as there is someone who is giving your support always.