Dogwood is a shrubby tree which can grow to 10m tall when mature.
In spring, it produces small, cream flowers which smell unpleasant. These are followed by small black berries. Characteristically, the twigs facing the sun are red, whereas those in the shade are lime green. The leaves turn a lovely red before falling in autumn.
Dogwood leaves are eaten by moth caterpillars. The flowers provide pollen for insects, and the berries are eaten by mammals and birds.
Skewers used to be called ‘dogs’, which is how the dogwood got its name – its smooth straight twigs, were used to make butchers’ skewers.