An old and beautiful legend has it that, at the time of the
crucifixions, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest.
Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the timber for the cross, but to be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it: "Because of your sorrow and pity for my sufferings never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a gibbet. Henceforth it will be slender, bent, and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross - two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nailprints - brown with rust and stained with red and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember.
After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
There are an estimated 285,000 species of flowering plants on Earth compared to 148,000 for all other plants. Flowering plants are very important because they provide food for herbivores - plant-eating animals - and for humans.