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Gray Dogwood

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Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa): An underutilized beauty! Gray Dogwood is a showy shrub with white spring flowers, white fall berries on pink stems, and good fall color. Adaptable and easy to grow, it’s a great choice for massing, but be prepared for its tendency to sucker.

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
12 feet
Average Landscape Width:
12 feet
Growth Rate:
slow
Genus:
Cornus
Species:
racemosa
Flower Color:
cream
Flower Period:
in late spring
Summer Foliage Color:
gray green
Fall Color:
dark purple
Minimum Light:
shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
dry
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Plant Form:
spreading
Canopy:
low
Pruning:
can prune at anytime
Pollution Tolerance:
high
Branching:
multi-stemmed

Ornamental Features

Gray Dogwood has clusters of creamy white flowers at the ends of the branches in late spring. It has grayish green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding deep purple in the fall. It produces white berries in late summer.

Landscape Attributes

Gray Dogwood is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

Planting & Growing

Gray Dogwood will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

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