One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The dogwood Cornus florida, of eastern North America, which has large, white, flower-like bracts, or the wood of this tree; (in early use also) †an American dogwood having leaves with white, downy undersides (not identified) (obsolete).
2The Jamaica dogwood Piscidia piscipula, or the wood of this tree (now rare).
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Amos Eaton (1776–1842).
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