Friday, August 26, 2011
The dogwood tree is symbolic in a number of different legends.
One Native American legend says that a princess, who was killed by a suitor she refused, used dogwood petals to clean blood from her wounds as she lay dying. The red marks on dogwoods symbolizes her blood. Source Here
In Cherokee legends there are little people who are a race of spirits and one of these is the dogwood people. The little people are here to teach lessons about living in harmony with nature and other people.
The dogwood people are good and take care of people. (Source on little people). Some of the other little people are more mischievous.
I grew up with Christian legends about the dogwood and how it symbolizes the crucifixion. What I recalled from my childhood was that Christ was crucified on a cross made from a dogwood. In refreshing my memory, I found that there are legends saying that the dogwood was once as big as oak trees but that it was shamed to be used for such a bad purpose. According to that legend, Jesus, comforting the dogwood tree, told it that it would forever after be too small to be used that way and that its flowers would be formed like a cross. Source for this legend. Another legend doesn't show the dogwood in a good light but instead God punished it and made it forever small and twisted after the crucifixion. (source for second legend). I must say I don't care for the second Christian legend and much prefer the first. I always grew up thinking the dogwood was special in good ways so I'm sure it was some variation of the first legend I heard as a child. I also ran across some sites mentioning pink dogwoods symbolizing the blood of Christ.
I ran across so many ways in which the dogwood is symbolic doing fast research that I only touched on a few. Click for the home of photohunters.