Dogwood Trees and Easter

Every year, when the dogwoods bloom, I think of the legend of the dogwood. If you’re not from the South, you may have never heard of this legend.

Dogwood Blooms April 2012

(The following explanation borrowed from Explore Southern History.)

“According to the story, it was the dogwood tree that provided the wood used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Because of its role in the crucifixion, it is said that God both cursed and blessed the tree. It was cursed to forever be small, so that it would never grow large enough again for its wood to be used as a cross for a crucifixion. At the same time, however, the tree was blessed so that it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, just in time for Easter.

The most unique part of the legend is that the petals of the dogwood actually form the shape of a cross. Upon close examination, it can be seen that the blooms of the tree always have four petals. And the tips of each of the petals are indented, as if they bear a nail print. There are even colors in the petals that bring to mind the drops of blood that spilled during the crucifixion.”

And just because it’s pretty, I’m sharing one of my new-old irises (“new” because I planted it last summer and it just bloomed this week; “old” because it’s been in Ken’s grandmother’s garden for decades before this. I adore heirloom flowers!):

Red Orange Iris April 2012

For a quick Easter giggle, read this post from the archives. 😉 Happy Easter, y’all!