News & Events

Plant Profile: Flowering Dogwood

(by Melissa Moore)

Homeowners treasure the Flowering Dogwood tree for its beautiful spring display. The showy display is not the true flower. The dogwood’s flower is a small, yellow greenish cluster that is surrounded by the eye-catching bracts. These bracts range in color from white to pink and commonly appear in a set of four. The bract and flower measure 3 inches across and may last up to two weeks. Birds and other pollinators will visit the flowers in spring. Their pollination efforts determine the fruit set that appears later.

The Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) is hardy to zone 5 and will grow to a mature height of approximately 20’. It prefers partial sun and well drained soil. This North American native boasts four season appeal as green leaves and tiered branches shade birds in the summer. In the fall, the green leaves take on a burgundy red appearance. The shiny red fruits called drupes are a bird favorite. The berries may persist after the leaves drop. Once the burgundy red leaves fall, the Flowering Dogwood’s bark and form are appealing in the winter landscape.

The Flowering Dogwood has proven susceptible to a fungus disease called Dogwood Anthracnose. To combat this disease, plant researchers have developed a range of cultivars that offer resistance to Dogwood Anthracnose. Homeowners looking to purchase a new flowering dogwood are encouraged to review plant catalogs with care and choose from some of the new introductions. The disease is present when summer leaves show black/tan spots, holes and are blighted in appearance. The Flowering Dogwood will thrive as long as care is taken to avoid damaging the trunk with lawn mowers or string trimmers.

Photos by Becky Suomala.

Explore 39 wildlife sanctuaries throughout all 10 counties of New Hampshire.

Committed to the conservation of ecologically important lands.

We regularly observe and count 14 species at NH Audubon’s Raptor Observatories.

NH Audubon Protects

The New Hampshire Audubon offers multiple opportunities for those interested in joining us as a member or donating for one of our various causes.

About Us

Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.