North Carolina State Flower

Unusually The North Carolina State Flower is not the flower of a plant or a shrub but the blossom of a tree.

It is the beautiful flower of the Dogwood (Cornus Florida) which can be found all over the state of North Carolina. The blossom is generally white but it is not uncommon to find various shades of pink or even red.

Following great demand from all parts of the state to adopt a flower to represent the state the General Assembly passed a motion on the 15th of March 1941 saying - "Whereas the Dogwood is a radiantly beautiful flower which grows abundantly in all parts of this state...the General Assembly do enact... that the Dogwood be adopted as the official North Carolina State Flower."

The flowering Dogwood is a small tree growing to about thirty feet in height and when it is mature the spread of its branches is often wider than its height.

While most of the wild Dogwood trees have white blossom, some cultivated varieties have pink and red flowers. The tree blossoms in April and May and thrives best in a moist, acidic soil in a site that has sun for part of the day but also has some shade. The Linville Gorge is therefore a good location for its growth.

The Dogwood is found widely throughout the temperate part of eastern USA and as far north as Toronto in Canada and as far south as Florida.

In the past it has had a number of other different names such as the Cornelian Tree, American Dogwood, False Boxwood and White Cornel.

It has also had a number of uses, the wood being used to make mallets, wooden golf clubs, tool handles and butchers blocks. The Dogwood has also been used as a Quinine substitute and in the production of ink and scarlet dyes.

When the Dogwood is in bloom it is easy to see why it was chosen as the State Flower.

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