By vote of the Virginia Native Plant Society Board of Directors, Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, will be the 2018 Virginia Native Plant Society Wildflower of the Year. One hopes that all Virginians are able to identify Flowering Dogwood because, after all, it is our state flower (and state tree). This is an appropriate time to summarize how to recognize Cornus florida in winter. First, as I like to tell my students, “Dogwood can be recognized by its distinctive bark.” After a brief pause for laughter (or groans), I explain that the bark of mature trees consists of a densely tessellated pattern of small plates, a pattern of scales finer than that of any other local tree.

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Copyright © 2018 The Quarterly of the Virginia Native Plant Society. This article first appeared in Sempervirens Winter 2017/2018: 9.

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