Here's the first dogwood (Cornus florida) flower that I saw this spring. Flower bud, I should say. What look like petals here are actually bracts, modified leaves. The inconspicuous flowers come out of the green buds in the center.
The flowering dogwood is native to the eastern United States and Mexico. Here's a white flowering dogwood with fully grown bracts.
This pink dogwood is in bloom. Notice the tiny yellow flowers in the center.
Cornus florida has a reputation for becoming gnarly and mangled as it matures.
Here's a flowering dogwood in the early fall.
The clusters of fruit ripen by late summer or early fall.
The flowering dogwood is one of my favorite trees in winter. I love the way the twigs hold the snow.