Friday, April 20, 2012

Flowering Dogwood

I’m guessing that we’re just past the peak of the Flowering Dogwood blooms.  It’s odd that the dogwood buds all began to swell and open at the same time, but where some hurried ahead to full bloom; others lagged behind and bloomed at a more leisurely pace.  We’ve now reached the point where the final dogwoods are blooming and the early developers have just a trace of white left on their branches.

In a typical year, all of the trees tend to bloom together.  It seems odd that in a year where the weather hurried many spring species through their blooming period, the Flowering Dogwoods would display such a sporadic pattern.

The Flowering Dogwoods managed to synchronize their showy phase with a series of frosty mornings.  The result is a display that is slightly less than perfect.  The bright white bracts all show traces of brown where the light freeze caused damage.

The actual flowers, clustered at the base of the bracts, appear free of damage.  There may be two dozen flowers in a cluster, but I normally find clusters of only four fruits in the fall.

Leaves are developing rapidly and will soon displace the flowers.  The summer phase of the tree is also quite attractive.  Unfortunately, its greens blend with its neighbor’s and the beauty goes unnoticed by most.  I always take time in the summer to visit with these trees and enjoy their warm weather personality.