There is a legend, that at the time of the Crucifixion, the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber of the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this, and in his gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering said to it: "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 in the form of a cross--two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown with thorns, and all who see it will remember."