Dogwood Flower – Meaning, Symbolism and Colors

Flower symbolism is not only there to help us select the right flower sort for the people we love, it is also there to give us a broader idea about a certain flower and he history behind its existence.

Symbolic meanings are created by people and influenced by events that take place in our lives. Besides that, symbolic meanings are also a product of beliefs that are passed on from family to another, from grandparents to grandchildren’s.

There are many interesting stories behind certain flower sorts and families that we couldn’t event imagine. Getting to know a certain flower more is going to give a much stronger significance to the act of gifting a person you love this flower. You can truly send a strong message to the other person, if you know what kind of message is hidden behind a flower and how it can be interpreted.

In today’s text we will be talking about Dogwood Flower and the symbolism behind it. This beautiful flower is definitely interesting and it has a lot of symbolic meaning that we should learn about.

So if you ever wanted to learn more about Dogwood flower, here is the opportunity to do so.

Meaning of the Dogwood flower

  • Rebirth
  • Durability
  • Purity
  • Affection
  • Strength
  • Christianity

Rebirth – The Dogwood flower is a symbol of rebirth and resurrection. This symbolic meaning was derived from the association of this flower to Jesus Christ and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will talk more about the symbolic meaning of this flower later on, but for now, you need to know that this beautiful flower has a very strong symbolic meaning behind it.

Durability – The Dogwood flower is also a symbol of durability and being able to endure various difficulties in life. This flower might seem gentle and small, but it can survive very hard conditions. This is a very strong meaning that you need to keep in mind before gifting someone this beautiful flower.

Purity – The Dogwood flower is also a symbol of purity, mainly because this flower is linked to Christianity. The link between Christianity and the Dogwood flower is so strong that this symbolic meaning is no wonder. This is an ideal flower to have at baptisms or at weddings, because the symbolic meaning goes perfectly with the event.

Affection – This flower is also a symbol of affection, and you can gift this flower to almost anyone you love and care deeply about. this gentle flower is going to be a perfect gift for anyone you love and you don’t have to think about the relationship you have with the person to whom you are gifting this gorgeous flower.

Strength – Even though this flower seems gentle and easily breakable, this is not the case. Dogwood flower is very durable and can withstand various conditions. It is a symbol of strength and power, and you can gift it to anyone you consider to be a strong person or to someone who really needs your support right now.

Christianity – The main meaning of this flower is the one linked to Christianity. The Dogwood flower was linked to Christianity for centuries, and the reason behind this is that people related to the Dogwood flower and used it often in religious ceremonies and gatherings.

Dogwood – Etymological meaning

Dogwood flower belongs to the Cornus genus and many people call it the Flowering Dogwood or just Cornus Florida. This last name is the name that is most commonly used in North America.

The Dogwood flower has been bred by gardeners around the world and they managed to develop many flower colors. Some European cultures, call this tree or flower, the whipple-tree. This later evolved into the dog-tree and later to Dogwood.

There is no real connection between the name Dogwood and the Cornus, it seems like people simply named the tree after something that they saw on daily basis and used that name to distinguish this tree easier.

Some even suspect that the tree was actually called Dagwood, dag being the sharpened bit of wood that was used for darts, arrows and etc. the dogwood flower/tree was perfect for making these objects so perhaps the name eventually evolved into Dogwood.

Dogwood – Symbolism

Dogwood flower was linked to Christianity. The cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified was made out of Dogwood, which is the main reason why this tree/flower is often linked to Christianity.

People often used Dogwood flowers as decoration in religious events and gatherings, which only added to the importance of Dogwood flowers to Christianity.

This tree of flower is not the birth tree for any month and it is also rarely used as a part of decorations and flower arrangements. Victorians linked this flower to another tradition. A bachelor would offer a spring of Dogwood tree to a woman he liked and waited for her response. If the flower was returned to him, this means the girl wasn’t interested in his proposal and if the flower was kept by the girl, this meant she liked him back. This is the reason why the Dogwood flower symbolized affection and love we feel towards someone.

Dogwood flower was also a symbol of reliability and durability, because the Dogwood tree had the ability to endure difficult living conditions and it could be alive for a very long time. All of these symbolic meanings remained until this day, and the Dogwood tree is still an important symbol in many cultures. This tree is the national tree of the state of Missouri and the state flower of North Carolina. This tree was also used as a treat for dogs, which might be one of the reasons why this tree or flower got its name.

In Japan, the Dogwood tree was exchanged between Japan and Washington D.C. as a donation and a gift. While cherry trees that were also gifted to Japan, survived, the Dogwood trees sadly didn’t. The only tree that could survive the climate was the one at the agriculture high school.

Dogwood – Color meaning

Color of the flower can add a lot to the symbolic meaning of the flower, because colors have a strong impact on our psyche. We have the ability to experience flowers more, if they come in certain colors and of course, certain colors have their own symbolic meaning that needs to be taken in consideration. This is why we usually gift red and pink flowers to the people we love, because we want to express love and affection to them.

The Dogwood flower comes in several different colors, even though his original color is white. The different colors were created by gardeners and are not original colors of Dogwood. The Dogwood flowers come in these colors:


  • White symbolizes purity, innocence and spirituality. Dogwood flowers in white are symbols of Christianity, purity and innocence. This is the perfect flower to gift to someone you love and adore, because white is neutral and it won’t send the wrong message to the people you love. Dogwood flower in white can also be used in religious ceremonies and in all other ceremonies like weddings and baptisms.


  • Color red is a symbol of passion and love. This flower color is a perfect gift to someone you love, but take note that the Dogwood flower is rarely gifted in arrangements. So, if you want to surprise someone with a red Dogwood tree, this is the perfect way to say to someone you love him.


  • Color pink is a symbol love, affection and romance. Beautiful Dogwood flowers are going to be a perfect addition to your garden and their beauty is certainly going to attract everyone’s attention. The color pink always sends mild vibes and it can’t be taken in the wrong way, no matter to whom you gift this flower.


  • Orange symbolizes energy, positive attitude and happiness. This flower color is going to be a perfect addition to your backyard, and it is going to bring smile back on your face whenever you see it.


  • Color purple is a symbol of royalty, beauty and wealth. Purple Dogwood flowers are something peculiar and unusual. This makes them perfect for people you know to be different and not like everyone else. Color purple is going to make your backyard be the eye-catching piece for everyone nearby.

Dogwood – Botanical facts and characteristics

From the low sorts that cover the ground to the imposing shrubs, the genus of the Dogwood include more than 45 different species. The most famous are about three meters high bushes, which are often encountered in mixed shrub fences but also individually in the garden.

The most famous species is the Siberian Dogwood (Cornus alba “Sibirica”) that has red bark, as well as the purple Dogwood (Cornus alba “Spaethii”). Currently, it is getting more and more popular in the flower world. The new variety “Venus” (Japanese flower arrow; Cornus kousa) is a new star in this assortment.

With many years of breeding work, a new sort has emerged that has incredibly large white flowers and high resistance to diseases and pests. In order to keep its vigorous growth under control, it can be cut after flowering. “Venus” reaches a height of about six meters and can grow large in size and in age. Therefore, leave enough space for planting if you want this species.

Dogwood enchants us with many different types and varieties: the real decoration is the American flower Dogwood (Cornus florida) that has varieties with beautiful pink flowers. But recently a lean disease of leaves has appeared and the tree is often subjected to this disease. In North America, the Dogwood is particularly popular, in the meantime, the Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa) and Chinese Dogwood (Cornus kousa var. Chinensis) are increasingly being planted evrywhere.

The Asian Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) is considered to be somewhat more sensitive and it needs more attention.

The Dogwood shows its magically beautiful flowers in May and June, and in autumn it may be even more beautiful thanks to fruits resembling strawberries that come in fantastic colors. Although the fruits are edible, they are not that tasty. It’s better to leave them like decoration on the bush. In addition, what we find to be flowers or flower petals are in fact white or pink bracts that surround the small flowers in the middle.

When planting, take into account the right selection of habitat: the Dogwood loves slightly sour soil rich in humus in the half-shade. It is an ideal companion of rhododendrons. If you do not have sour soil, add the lemon juice to the soil next to the rhododendrons in the planting hole. It will be a beautiful addition to your backyard or garden.

Dogwood – Secret message

Every flower has a hidden message behind it that we need to understand and apply to our lives. These messages are sometimes simple, but other times they are complicated and can be hard to understand. To make it easier for you, we will show you the message behind Dogwood tree, and the only thing you need to do is to learn from it.

Symbolic meanings are created by people and influenced by events that take place in our lives. Besides that, symbolic meanings are also a product of beliefs that are passed on from family to another, from grandparents to grandchildren’s.

Dogwood flower was a symbol of reliability and durability, because the Dogwood tree had the ability to endure difficult living conditions and it could be alive for a very long time.

The message behind the Dogwood flower is to enjoy the beauty you possess. This is the greatest lesson you need to learn and apply in your life. Once you learn how to love yourself everything else will be much easier and you won’t rush to please everyone else around you.

Opinions of others shouldn’t shape your life, because you should be the only person in charge of your decisions. The Dogwood flower has a rich history and symbolic meaning behind it that dates back hundreds of years. Learn the philosophy behind it and apply it on your life.