Friday, April 2, 2010

Legend of the Dogwood Tree is a Popular Local Tradition

One of my favorite legends of the spring is the story of the beautiful little dogwood tree.

The dogwood is noted for its small size but stunning beauty. Each spring it blooms in full force and trees all over Jackson County are now covered with stunning blossoms. The annual blooming season also brings back memories of the old Southern legend that the dogwood tree provided the wood for the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

The story holds that the dogwood once grew to great size, so big that it provided timber for various purposes. Because it provided sturdy, solid hardwood, the tree was selected to provide the timbers for the cross of Jesus. Its role in the crucifixion, however, brought about eternal changes for the tree.

Legend holds that God both cursed and blessed the dogwood tree. It would never again grow large enough for  its wood to be used for crucifixions. In exchange for its loss in size, the dogwood was blessed with its beautiful blooms, which open each year in celebration of Easter. The petals themselves hold special significance associated with Easter.

To learn more about this unique story, please visit

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