Virtual Museum of Canada
Jardin botanique de Montréal 
Centre for Forest Research

Hey, look at me!

The white bracts (Small leaf attached below the flower.) of this flowering dogwood are not actually part of the flower, but modified leaves. While truly lovely, they nevertheless have a very down-to-earth function. This flower is pollinated by insects, which must be able to identify trees' flowers by their scent or looks.

The flowers of the dogwood are actually the small green clusters in the centre of the white bracts, which make the flowers more visible. This "billboard" used by the tree is large and far from subtle, but highly effective in catching the attention of its target audience!

Photo of flowers of an Eastern flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) and of their surrounding large white bracts
Cornus florida
© Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
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