One of my favorite movies is The American President, a 1995 romantic comedy written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Rob Reiner, and starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. So what does this have to do with Dogwood you ask? There is a memorable scene where widower President Andrew Shepherd wants to send flowers to a woman he has met. He wants to send her the state flower and since she is from Virginia that means Dogwood. The rest of the scene has less to do with Dogwood than the rest of the plot so you’ll have to watch the movie.
Of course, since I’m a native Virginian, I already knew that the Dogwood is the state flower and tree of Virginia. American Dogwood, cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood, syn. Benthamidia florida (L.) Spach) is a species of dogwood native to eastern North America. The American Dogwood is also the state flower for North Carolina.
The distinctive petals of the dogwood are what Ilike the most about the flowering tree so prevalent in Virginia.