Flowering dogwood has opposite, deciduous midgreen leaves, 3-6 in (7.6-15 cm) long, which turn red and purple in autumn. Flowering dogwood blooms in the spring, as its new leaves are unfolding, and usually remains showy for 2-3 weeks. The inflorescence consists of four showy petal-like bracts, usually snow white or pink, surrounding a cluster of tiny inconspicuous yellowish flowers.
Flowering dogwood is one of the most popular ornamental specimen trees in eastern North America. Use dogwood as a framing tree or as a background tree.
Partial or broken shade is best, but flowering dogwood can tolerate full sun, too. It does best with some shade in the south and full sun in the north. Established specimens are tolerant of normal dry periods, but will need supplemental watering during extreme droughts.