These pretty deciduous trees are commonly seen growing in the understory of wooded areas and along forest edges.
Dogwoods bloom in early spring. They have small flowers framed by showy white bracts.
Dogwoods are important wildlife trees because all parts of the tree - seed, fruit, flowers, twigs, bark and leaves - provide food for many animals.
The bright red drupes, which are high in fat, ripen in fall. They are eaten by more than 75 species of birds, including many migrating birds. Chipmunks, foxes, skunks, rabbits, deer, beaver, black bears, and squirrels also eat dogwood fruits.
Dogwood trees are a host plant for Azure butterflies. At Merrimac Farm, look for Flowering Dogwoods along the road to the North Parking Lot.