Many persons who have taken early spring trips to the southern and southeastern sections of our country frequently remark about the attractiveness of the Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida L.) which they observed in the woodlands of this area. They also ask why this small tree does not grow in Wisconsin. According to the publication, "Growing the Flowering Dogwood" (USDA, 1970), this plant cannot be successfully grown where the winter temperatures go below -15°F; therefore, it is not considered hardy in our climate. We can take some solace, however, because there are a number of attractive native dogwoods which bloom in the spring and early summer, and several of them are suitable for planting as ornamentals. The following key and the accompanying line drawings may be of some assistance to persons interested in identifying the species which occur in Wisconsin.
Salamun, P.J. 1971. Dogwoods in Wisconsin. 4(1): 12-16.