West F Street, dogwood trees, and the legend
Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023
BY DEBRA ELLIOTT
As I woke up this morning and had coffee on my side porch, I was taking in the birds singing, the dogwoods blooming and the sun rising. I live on F Street. Spring is here.
As I sat on the porch and finished my devotions (Luke 23:32-24:12,) I started thinking of the legend of the dogwood, and what it represents: the Cross and his Blood. Again, what a perfect time. It’s spring, the dogwoods are blooming, Sunday is Easter.
EASTER & THE LEGEND OF THE DOGWOOD TREE
One of the most unique of the old legends handed down in the South is the story of the dogwood tree. I still remember the story of the dogwood tree from when I was a child. Every Easter I stop and think of the story, but I had forgotten some of the details in the many years since the first hearing of it. The internet has jogged the memory and I do hope you enjoy the tale as much as I still do. The story is just for fun but we hope you will enjoy and share with your family and friends.
The dogwood tree is a beautiful little tree that explodes in white blossoms each spring and is one of the favorite blooming trees among our customers. It grows across the South and is popular as a yard tree, but it also grows wild in the woods across the region.
The legend holds that the tree was once very large, like a great oak tree, 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. It’s branches would be narrow and crooked– not good for building at all.
At the same time, however, the tree was blessed so that it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, just in time for Easter. To remember God’s promise to the tree it is said he gave it a few traits so that whoever looks upon it will never forget.
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.
The middle of the dogwood flower has a tight grouping of resembling a “crown of thorns.”
And the tips of each of the petals are indented, as if they bear a nail dent.
There are even colors in the petals that bring to mind the drops of blood that spilled during the crucifixion.
So, there you have it, the Legend of the Dogwood Tree.