Dogwood, Flowering – Cornus florida

Pink Dogwood Flowers

This appears in the wild in eastern North America where it is considered an understorey tree. It will grow up to 10m in height

The common name ‘dogwood’ is a corruption of ‘dagwood’ , which comes from the Old English word ‘dag’, meaning dagger.

Surprisingly the bark waas used to make teas and quinine substitutes. The fruit may be removed from the around the seed, mashed, mixed with other fruit and made into a jam.

In magic use it is much-used by the gypsies for basket making, the lovely red twigs are burned and the ash boiled into a thick mixture which is combined with the gypsy’s blood. This is then smeared onto ‘promise paper’ (birch bark), which has been written with a wish. Such a wish is sure to come true. Dogwood is one of the nine woods traditionally placed in the traditional Celtic Druid balefire.

Some Native American peoples made a scarlet dye from the roots of flowering dogwood. A black ink can be made from the bark mixed with gum arabic and iron sulphate

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