This legend fascinates me. Although there is no historical verification, it's a widely held view, that the tree chosen for Jesus’ crucifixion was a Dogwood tree. The petals of its flowers grow in the shape of the cross, each bearing the reddish mark of a rusty nail.
The legend told of why the Dogwood does not grown tall or even straight is best described in a poem by an unknown author.
The Legend of the Dogwood
In Jesus’ time,
the dogwood grew
to a stately size
and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong and firm
it’s branches interwoven,
for the cross of Christ
its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress
at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise
which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted it shall be
with blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown,
the blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
crucified on a cross
from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected,
this tree shall be.
A reminder to all of my agony.”