What is a Dogwood Shrub?

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  • Written By: L. Hepfer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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The dogwood shrub is a shrub known for its peculiarity in colorful leaves and its winter bark. These shrubs are enjoyed by gardeners everywhere, not only for their usefulness, but also for their decorative ability. The stem of the dogwood shrub can be woven to make baskets, and dyes have been made from the bark and roots of the shrub. While there are various kinds of dogwood shrubs available, there are a few that are more well known than than the rest.

The redosier dogwood shrub is native to North America and is a hardy shrub. It is sometimes known as the red willow. This particular shrub grows well in partial shade to full sun and does not like dry soil. It blooms white flowers from May through the end of summer and its branches stay a deep red color all winter long. The stem of the dogwood shrub can be woven to make baskets, and dyes have been made from the bark and roots of the shrub.

The bloodtwig dogwood is a deciduous shrub also known as dogwood, pegwood, red twig dogwood or dogberry. It thrives in light shade to full sun and requires moist soil to grow. It blooms white flowers with black fruit and has a reddish-green twig color throughout the winter.


The gray dogwood is native to North America and tolerates urban air pollution quite well. This dogwood shrub grows well in full shade and full sun, making it easy to grow in any soil, and blooms white flowers from May through July. Fruit forms on the branches after the flowers drop off.

The bunchberry dogwood is a dogwood shrub that is also native to North America, sometimes known as crackerberry, dwarf cornel and the pudding berry. It is the smallest dogwood shrub available. It matures at only 8 inches (.2 meters) and grows bright red berries that feed wildlife.

The silky dogwood is a deciduous dogwood shrub that grows in thickets and thrives in soil which is poorly drained. It grows white and yellow flowers that bloom from late spring through early summer. Grayish-blue fruit forms on the branches after the flowers have dropped off. This particular dogwood shrub is used in windbreaks and wildlife borders.

The red twig dogwood is native to North China, Siberia and Korea. It is a deciduous shrub that grows well in partial shade to full sun and thrives in wet soils. It bears dark green leaves, red stems and makes a great hedge.


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Post 2

Dogwoods are great trees to have because they are interesting to look at year round! Summer brings beautiful flowers, and the bark is also quite nice. The leaves are full, too.

But I think the most interesting thing about dogwood trees are the shapes that they take. The branches are all twisty and grow every which way. They have an almost abstract quality to their forms. Many things of nature are pleasant to look at, but a flowering dogwood shrub is truly a thing of beauty.

Post 1

There is an old legend that is spread around where I live, and probably further than that, about the dogwood tree. It is said that during Christ’s time on earth, and before, that the dogwood was a tall, strong tree. As a result, the dogwood was often used to build crosses for crucifixions and this was indeed the kind of cross that Jesus was hung on.

Supposedly, after His death the dogwood reverted to a shorter and smaller shrub so that it could no longer be used for such destruction. It is also said that now the cross and Christ’s wounds (on his hands, feet and head where the crown of thorns was) are represented in the red stained pedals of the flowers.

I don't know if the legend is true, but it's very sweet nonetheless.

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