Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dogwood and Dokudami

American Dogwood is my most favorite flower, but I often wonder why anyone named this beautiful flower dogwood.  I like dogs, but still, I can't understand that sensibility.  You may have different opinion.  Please let me know, and if you think the name is also beautiful, please convince me in your words.  I desperately look forward to your words.

Dokudami is beautiful, but I think it has been discriminated against.  The flower has been always planted near the bathroom for ages.  Dokudami means to stop poison.

In English, Dokudami is Lizard's Tail.  So, the name is still not as beautiful as I like for the flower.
I guess it is the proof of life being unfair.  What do you think?  


Vincent said...

I wonder what you especially like about American dogwood. It immediately reminded me of Mock Orange, though it is not the same. Mock Orange blossom has a wonderful perfume. I wonder about the dogwood.

I think in English there is not the same sensitivity to whether a name is beautiful, since names are more or less arbitrary - I mean no one expects them to be descriptive!

keiko amano said...


I found these photos on the internet.

The kind of dogwood I love is white and has four flower petals. The mid section of the flower shows a cluster of green dots, and at the tip of each flower petal has a bit of green dent. At the height of its bloom, it forms like a cup, not flat, but most of the photos on the internet are flat. I think it’s because the flowers were a day after the height of bloom, or maybe different varieties. The image of the perfect dogwood in my head has very distinct shape and colors. It became memorable to me because I used to have a pair of porcelain earrings with the dogwood shape when I was teenager. It was my favorite. And I didn’t know the beautiful flower actually existed until I went to Atlanta. How excited I was to see real dogwood the first time! They were like white butterflies.

I don’t think I know Mock Orange, but I love the fragrance of orange. I love all kinds of flowers anyway. About the kind of flower names, Japanese names can also be arbitrary, too, as well as descriptive. Crape Myrtle is sarusuberi which means monkey slipped, but when I say sarusuberi, I think of that beautiful fluffy flower.
I think dogwwod is somehow very special to me.

ZACL said...

The flowers are delightful. I wonder, though, regarding the Dogwood if that name actually refers to the wood from which the flower sprouts. We have a Dogwood Rose. The flower is the rose.

What I particularly like about the flower is the elegant petals, they are like a human hand representation of a lotus petal.

keiko amano said...


I wonder if dogwood rose is a cross between dogwood and rose. I think rose is a descendant of cherry tree.

That's a good description for the flower. Yes, I feel warm seeing the flower like a hand but classy like lotus.

Domey Malasarn said...

Keiko, I always appreciate it when a name beautifully matches what it belongs to, but there's also something fascinating when it doesn't to me. I like the surprise of hearing the name dogwood and maybe expecting something else and then seeing the actual flower and respecting it in a new way.

keiko amano said...


Congratulation on your new book!

About dogwood, I thought it like you for a long time although I discovered the flower before knowing the name. I used to believe that my love for the name would grow with my love for the flower. So, I checked my feeling about it once in a while and told myself each time that I was making progress in loving the name little by little. But I have to be honest this year because putting this fiction became burden on me. I realized I was checking my feeling more often. Have I been successful of loving the name as much as the flower? The contrast was still there. If I were dogwood originally, would I vote for the name? No. Then I felt better because I said it. I wanted to be clear on my stand. I’m on the flower’s side, not the name.