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The Legend of The Dogwood Tree – True or False?

Since I was a little kid,every spring around Easter, I have heard people repeat the story of how the cross used to crucify Jesus was made from a dogwood tree. I never really questioned that story until today.

Dogwood blooms are one of my favorite things about spring. I like seeing them scattered in the woods and in peoples yards. I guess it’s because we had several dogwoods on our property as a kid. Every spring, I would hear folks talk about how the cross used to crucify Jesus was made from dogwood and how the flowers were marked with sighs of the nails. Then how the mighty dogwood was “cursed” to be thin and crooked for all time.

I did a little research and found several articles that debunked the story. The website, says:

To check an essential detail of this story, we contacted the Information Center at the Ministry of Tourism in Israel to find out whether dogwoods actually grow in Jerusalem, Israel, or the surrounding areas.

Their reply?

“No, the dogwood doesn’t grow naturally in or near Israel. It is native to Europe, eastern Asia, and North America only.”


The site also says the there is not even a mention of the dogwood tree in the Bible at all.

Although there are websites that quote a poem:

In Jesus’ time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong and firm, its branches interwoven.
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown,
The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of My agony.”

According to, the only recorded words we have that Jesus spoke are in the Bible. Have you ever read about the dogwood tree in the Bible? I haven’t.


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