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COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Eastern Flowering Dogwood in Canada

Special Significance of the Species

This species, plus its western counterpart Cornus nuttallii, are threatened by dogwood anthracnose throughout their ranges. Both are important as small, ornamental landscape trees, with graceful pagoda-form of tiered branches, flowers with striking floral bracts and brilliant fall colour. Ecologically, Cornus florida is a conspicuous understory tree in southern Ontario forests at flowering time, providing nutrition for pollinating insects in the spring and frugivorous forest birds in late summer.

First Nations used Cornus florida mainly for medicinal purposes. The wood was also used for carving and tools (Moerman, accessed July 2004).

The dense, fine-grained wood was well suited for early industrial applications such as shuttles in mills (Hosie, 1979); no doubt early settlers found similar uses for the wood of this species on the farm and local industry.