July 24, 2017

Release the Hound’s

A single bloom of Cornus florida var. 'Rubra' - pink-flowering dogwood

Janine Pineo Photo | A single bloom of Cornus florida var. 'Rubra' - pink-flowering dogwood

Cornus florida var. 'Rubra' - pink-flowering dogwood

Janine Pineo Photo | Cornus florida var. 'Rubra' - pink-flowering dogwood

THE WEEKEND EDITION (So big it covers two days)

Native to North America, with a range from southern Maine to points west and south, is Cornus florida var. ‘Rubra,’ or pink-flowering dogwood. The tree is hardy to Zone 5, which includes a good portion of the state. Seen in the University of Maine Horticulture Club display at the 2012 Bangor’s Garden Show was a young specimen sporting a few distinct bracts. Yes, those “flowers’ you see are bracts, with that clump of yellow in the center being the actual flowers. Called the Hound’s Tree centuries ago, the tree can reach 25 feet tall at maturity with a matching spread, but the “flowers” are not its only show. This dogwood also produces bright red berries that are poisonous to humans but well-liked by the birds. Those berries were called dogberries or houndberries.