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Dogwood Flower Tattoo Designs and Ideas

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.


One beautiful flower that you may consider as a tattoo is the gorgeous dogwood blossom. The dogwood tree has been a symbol for many centuries. In this article, we will review its various meaning and design options.

Dogwood Symbolism in Christianity

The dogwood is often considered to be a Christian symbol since this tree was chosen for the crucifixion of Jesus. Since it has strong bark, the Romans figured it would make for a durable cross.

Some ancient tales say that the dogwood felt unhappy being used in such a manner. It is said that Jesus could understand how the dogwood tree felt. After being nailed to the cross, it is said that Jesus talked to the dogwood and said,

"Because of your regret and pity for my suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth, it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross, two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the middle of the flower a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember that it was upon a dogwood tree I was crucified, and this tree shall not be mutilated or destroyed, but cherished as a reminder of my death upon the cross.

In a variety of ancient myths and legends, it is said that the dogwood tree grew as large as the oak tree. Today, it only grows a few feet tall.

Facts About the Dogwood Tree

  • Dogwood blossoms come in a variety of different colors: pink, red, white, and purple. You can choose any of these, a combination of these, or any other color.
  • There are around 40 different types of dogwood trees all across the world.
  • One interesting fact about the dogwood is how it received its name. Its bark was commonly used to cure dog mange. Due to this, it was later called the "dogwood" tree.
  • Dogwood bark was also used to treat fever and cold symptoms in humans.
  • Today, dogwood is used for a variety of different purposes: furniture, tool handles, golf clubs, and shuttle blocks. It is used in a wide variety of applications due to its durability.

Dogwood Tattoo Meanings

In general, dogwood tattoo meanings are positive:

  • Faith
  • Rebirth
  • Durability
  • Endurance
  • Stability
  • Christianity
  • Jesus
  • Longevity
  • Crucifixion
  • Spring
  • Justice
  • Remembrance
  • Enduring Love

But remember, in the end, your dogwood flower tattoo symbolizes what you want it to.

Dogwood Tattoo Design Options

  • Since the dogwood flower is associated with Christianity, it might be designed with a variety of Christian symbols and elements like the cross, Jesus, praying hands, a rosary, Bible quotes, angels, or cherubs.
  • One great design pairing is the dove, especially if you are trying to stick with symbols of Christianity. The dove can represent faith, love, and hope.
  • Dogwood flowers may also be designed with swallows, butterflies, or hummingbirds.
  • Since dogwood flower tattoos come in a variety of different variations and designs, they can nearly be tattooed anywhere on the body.
  • You can choose to portray only a flower, a small branch with flowers, or even the entire tree.

There are some very important things that you need to remember before you get your tattoo. Make sure that you take the time to do research. You want to make sure that you completely understand what it stands for and represents—you don't want to get a tattoo without knowing the meanings and symbolism behind it. Don't rush to get inked! I try to stress this point because it is so important. Those that do it on impulse will usually regret it. Don't make this mistake.

© 2012 Richard Ricky Hale


Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on October 08, 2012:

Max, thanks for the comment. I truly understand. I barely have time to write an article. I try to keep in contact, but as you see I am over a month late. So sorry. See you soon pal.

BeyondMax from Sydney, Australia on August 23, 2012:

What a powerful tattoo, so many meanings! Such a great job, Ricky, I wish a had it in a small book so I can enjoy it on the go (time and reality are such a horrible duo, consumes life like there is no tomorrow =))

Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on August 20, 2012:









I am so grateful for all of you. Once again, many thanks to you all for your time, comments, votes, and everything in between. Alocsin, great point. These two can look alike. The difference is that the dogwood mainly has 4 parts on the flower unlike the cherry blossom. They are mistaken a lot. Alastar, your right. That would be my guess. The dogwood is a symbol of many states. KJ, I truly appreciate you noticing the hard work. It has been a hard task, especially alongside everyday life. It is always worth it to be thanked. Ruby, Faith, you all are lucky. I wish I had one. Maybe one day. Bill, your like me, read it and take it in:) Many thanks. Lesley, Gypsy, thank you ladies very much. Take care all.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 15, 2012:

The dogwood tattoo is absolutely beautiful!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on August 14, 2012:

So that's what those are. I've seen a few of these but thought they were cherry blossoms. Just goes to show how much I know about flowers. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 14, 2012:

The Dogwood tattoos are beautiful. I had a beautiful Dogwood tree at my old house..I miss it. It was white..Thank you..

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 14, 2012:

Fantastic and colorful.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on August 13, 2012:

I love, love, love the dogwood!!! Growing up in my backyard we had a whole yard full of dogwoods that had been there forever, I guess, as they were just huge, and I would love Easter, the best of the best, as it was always so special to me. Great hub. In His Love, Faith Reaper

kjforce from Florida on August 13, 2012:

thelyricwriter...the photos from all your hubs are breathtaking...the research show a passion for detail and you've written it in laymen terms, making it educational...this would make a beautiful book for anyone studying the ART of Tattoo Design...I say go for it......excellent work my friend.....KUDOS !!!!voted up...

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on August 13, 2012:

Very interesting with the Jesus statement, Ricky; never heard of it before. Good info on the symbolism and myths, too. The person in the pic with the Cardinal and Dogwood must be from North Caro as they're the State bird and tree. A very unique tree and some nice tats.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 13, 2012:

My education into a foreign land continues. Great job!