Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

CORNUS racemosa

Image of Cornus racemosa

Jesse Saylor

Family

Cornaceae

Botanical Name

CORNUS racemosa

Plant Common Name

Gray Dogwood, Panicled Dogwood

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A multistemmed shrub that will become a thicket, this deciduous plant is native to southeastern North America from Maine, Ontario and Minnesota south to Nebraska and Georgia. Its gray bark is smooth, but the coral-orange color of its youngest twigs are especially showy.

The elliptical leaves occur in opposite pairs. Each has a pointed tip, colored gray-green to slightly blue-green above and a more whitish green underneath. They line the coral-orange twigs. In late psring small clusters of white blossoms are found all across the plant, attracting bees for pollination. The fruits then follow, becoming white when ripe and held by showy reddish fruit stalks (pedicels) that persist well after the birds strip off the berries. In autumn the foliage becomes a glossy burgundy maroon, and is especially ornamental when white fruits and red stalks remain.

Grow gray dogwood in full sun to partial shade in any variety of fertile soils, from wet to fairly dry, ideally in nothing too alkaline. This adaptable shrub is great for a screening barrier, in the mixed shrub border, naturalized in a woodland garden to attract wildlife, or to stabilize soil in barren areas. Although it has upright branches, the thicket will become broad and spreading and will look more attractive with occasional rejuvenative prunings.

The dwarf selection 'Slavinii' is often available, having slightly twisting foliage. A widely variable selection of plants make up The Counties of Ohio™ Series, too.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Width

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    White, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Bark Color

    Orange, Coral, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No