Saturday, April 3, 2010

Legend of the Dogwood Tree is a Southern favorite for Easter

One of the most unique of the old legends handed down in the South is the story of the Dogwood Tree.

This beautiful little tree explodes in white blossoms each spring and is one of the favorite blooming trees. It grows across the South and is popular as a yard tree, but also grows wild in the woods across the region.

The legend holds that the tree was once very large and because its wood was strong and sturdy, it provided building material for a variety of purposes. According to the story, it was the dogwood tree that provided the wood used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Because of its role in the crucifixion, it is said that God both cursed and blessed the tree. It was cursed to forever be small, so that it would never grow large enough again for its wood to be used as a cross for a crucifixion. At the same time, however, the tree was blessed so that it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, just in time for Easter.

The most unique part of the legend is that the petals of the dogwood actually form the shape of a cross. Upon close examination, it can be seen that the blooms of the tree always have four petals. And the tips of each of the petals are indented, as if they bear a nailprint. There are even colors in the petals that bring to mind the drops of blood that spilled during the crucifixion.

To learn more about this unique legend, please visit our sister site on the historic community of Two Egg, Florida, at and click the link for "Dogwood Tree Legend is a Two Egg Favorite." Here are links to some great places in the South to see dogwood trees in bloom:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article. I was just looking at my dogwood today.