Cornus florida [flowering dogwood] is a species of flowering plant in the family Cornaceae native to eastern North America, from southern Maine west to southern Ontario, Illinois, and eastern Kansas, and south to northern Florida and eastern Texas.
Flowering dogwood is a small deciduous tree growing to 10 m [33 ft] high, often wider than it is tall when mature. The leaves are opposite, simple, ovate, 6–13 cm [2.4–5.1 in] long and 4–6 cm [1.6–2.4 in] broad, with an apparently entire margin; they turn a rich red-brown in fall.
The flowers are individually small and inconspicuous, with four greenish-yellow bracts 4 mm [0.16 in] long. Around 20 flowers are produced in a dense, rounded, umbel-shaped inflorescence, or flower-head, 1–2 cm [0.39–0.79 in] in diameter. The flower-head is surrounded by four conspicuous large white, pink or red “petals”, each bract 3 cm [1.2 in] long and 2.5 cm [0.98 in] broad, rounded, and often with a distinct notch at the apex.