Gray dogwood

Cornus racemosa, commonly known as the gray dogwood, is a deciduous shrub native to North America. It is a member of the dogwood family, Cornaceae. Here are some key characteristics and information about this plant:


  • The gray dogwood typically grows to be 3-10 feet (1-3 meters) tall and wide.
  • The bark is gray-brown and smooth.
  • The leaves are simple, opposite, and oval-shaped, with a pointed tip. They are typically 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) long and have a dark green color in the summer, turning red in the fall.
  • The flowers are small and white, forming clusters that are 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) wide. They bloom in late spring or early summer.
  • The fruit is a small, white berry that matures in the fall and can persist on the plant into the winter.

Habitat and Range:

  • The gray dogwood is native to North America and can be found across much of the eastern and central United States and southern Canada.
  • It typically grows in wetland areas, such as swamps, bogs, and streambanks, but can also be found in drier upland habitats.
  • It is often used in landscaping as a shrub border or for erosion control.

Ecological Importance:

  • The gray dogwood provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds, small mammals, and insects.
  • It is an important component of wetland ecosystems, where it helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
  • The berries are a food source for many bird species, including the ruffed grouse, cedar waxwing, and Eastern bluebird.


  • The gray dogwood has been used in traditional medicine by some indigenous groups to treat various ailments, including fevers and stomach problems.
  • It is sometimes used in landscaping as a shrub border or for erosion control.
  • The wood is dense and hard and has been used in the past for tool handles, stakes, and other small objects.