Career College Search

Online Schools

Campus Schools


Have you begun your college search? Find a college that's right for you. Acess over 8500 Colleges, Universities, and Trade Schools in the US.

Begin Now!



Flowers & Floral Emblems
Flowers & Floral Emblems

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Virginia State Flower (Floral Emblem)

American Dogwood

Virginia State Flower - American Dogwood

(Cornus florida)

Adopted on March 6, 1918.

Supported by the Garden Club of Virginia and the Garden Club of Norfolk, the flower of the American dogwood, (Cornus florida,) was adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia as the official floral emblem of the Commonwealth on March 6, 1918. It was selected to foster a feeling of pride in state of Virginia and to stimulate an interest in the history and traditions of the Commonwealth.

Virginia State Flower: American Dogwood

Virginia State Flower - American Dogwood

Flowers are highly modified leaves that perform reproductive functions for plants that bear them. A flower petal is merely a special leaf that typically through brightly colored pigment may attract a pollinator. The actual reproductive work of the flower is conducted by the stamens (which bear pollen) and the pistil (which receives the pollen and allows it to contact the flower ovary, where a fruit is produced).

The small flower clusters on the Flowering Dogwood are surrounded by 4 large, showy bracts that are often mistaken as petals. Each quarter-inch flower has four tightly curved petals, plus two stamens and a single pistil. Flowers that have dropped their petals is a sign they likely have been pollinated. Eventually, after all the white bracts and tiny petals have fallen, the remaining flower parts will wither and turn brown, giving rise to several fertilized ovaries, the bright green berries that turn scarlet as they ripen.

Identification of the American dogwood

  • Flower: Flowering dogwood blooms in either white or pink, depending on the cultivar, and 2 inches in diameter. Appearing March to April in the south, June in the north.
  • Plant Type: Deciduous
  • Leaf: Opposite, simple, arcuately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, oval in shape with an entire margin.
  • Fruit: A shiny, oval red drupe, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, in clusters of 3 to 4. Maturing in September to October.
  • Twig: Slender, green or purple, later turning gray, often with a glaucous bloom. The terminal flower buds are clove-shaped, vegetative buds resemble a cat claw.
  • Bark: Gray when young, turning very scaly to blocky.
  • Form: A small tree with a short trunk that branches low, producing a flat-topped crown. Branches are opposite, and assume a "candelabra" appearance.

Virginia Senate Joint Resolution No. 3

Supported by the Garden Club of Virginia and the Garden Club of Norfolk, the flower of the American dogwood (Cornus florida) was adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia as the official floral emblem of the Commonwealth on March 6, 1918.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 3 read, in part,

A RESOLUTION
to designate a floral emblem for the State of Virginia.

WHEREAS, the adoption of the State floral emblem by the authority of the general assembly would foster a feeling of pride in our State and stimulate an interest in the history and traditions of the Commonwealth, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, by the senate, the house of delegated concurring, That the flower commonly known as the American Dogwood (Cornus Florida), is hereby declared to be the floral emblem of the State of Virginia.

State Librarian H. R. McIlwaine indicated in a letter dated March 19, 1930, that the blossom of the dogwood was chosen because it is so prevalent in the State and because it adds beauty to the Virginia landscape, especially in the spring.

The Code of Virginia

The law designating the American Dogwood as the official Virginia state floral emblem is found in the Code of Virginia, Title 7.1, Chapter 5, Section 7.1-38.

Title 7.1 - BOUNDARIES, JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS OF THE COMMONWEALTH...
Chapter 5 - Song, Floral Emblem, Official Dog, Shell, Beverage, etc. of the Commonwealth.
SECTION 7.1-38.

§ 7.1-38. Floral emblem.
The flower commonly known as American Dogwood (Cornus florida) is declared to be the floral emblem of the Commonwealth.

(Code 1950, § 7-36; 1966, c. 102.)

Taxonomic Hierarchy: American Dogwood

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
    Subclass: Rosidae -
Order: Cornales -
Family: Cornaceae - Dogwood family
Genus: Cornus L. - dogwood
Species: Cornus florida L. - flowering dogwood

State Flowers
State Floral Emblems
Flowers & Floral Emblems
Find images and a brief history of the flowers representing, usually by legislative action, the state symbols of each of the fifty states.
The term floral emblem, which refers to flowers specifically, is primarily used in Australia and Canada. In the United States, the term state flower is more often used.
Hunting for a new job? Get advice or search over 1.6 million jobs on the largest job site
Colleges & Universities
Colleges & Universities: Search or Browse over 8500 Colleges, Universities, and Trade Schools in the US..

Find and Compare!

With access to over 8,500 schools to choose from!
Provides pricing transparency, scholarship information as well as numerous other key details on over 8,500 US colleges, universities and trade schools

Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

Support for eReferenceDesk
More information at
Support eReferenceDesk

Please click the "DONATE" button and enter the amount you wish to contribute:
PayPal