This is Missouri's state tree, and it is a stunner all year. Flowering dogwood's elegant floral displays are a welcome sight in spring. The large white "petals" are actually types of leaf structures called "bracts". These four bracts surround the true flowers, which are tiny, yellowish green and clustered tightly together. Here, bees will find an early nectar source. Sheets of shiny green leaves in spring and summer take on the colors of a sunset in fall, turning shades of purple, red, and orange. Bright red fruits also form in fall and are a favorite food for birds and wildlife.
Flowering dogwood is commonly found as an understory tree in open, wooded habitats, but it will also grow in the harsh sun and hot, dry conditions of Missouri's glades. A key to growing it successfully is to plant it in well-drained soil.
Uses: Birds, butterflies, ornamental
Bloom time: April - May
Height: 20 to 30 feet
Space: 20 to 30 feet
Sun: Full sun to shade