White dogwood is a small tree with a short
trunk that branches low, producing a slightly
rounded to flat-topped crown. This species
will reach heights of 20 to 30 feet with a
mature diameter of one to two feet, making
it a attractive ornamental tree. Growth is
best on well-drained, clay, loamy, sandy soils.
Very small, inconspicuous flowers that are
surrounded by four large white bracts appear
in mid-spring. The red to brown wood is hard,
strong and very close-grained. Although the
fruits are poisonous if eaten by humans, more
than 35 species of birds and many large and
small mammals are known to eat them. Deer
and rabbits browse the foliage and twigs.
The white dogwood, otherwise known as
flowering dogwood, is the state tree and state
flower of Virginia.