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Cornus racemosa Lam.
Synonym(s): Cornus foemina ssp. racemosa, Cornus paniculata
USDA Symbol: cora6
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Gray dogwood is a thicket-forming, deciduous shrub to 16 ft. in height with greenish-white blossoms in open, terminal clusters. Young twigs are reddish and the fruit pedicels remain conspicuously red into late fall and early winter. Fruit itself is a white, 1/4 in. drupe that usually does not remain on the shrub for long.
The fruit of this dogwood is eaten by birds and other wildlife.
The genus cornus is Latin for a horn.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
White, red stems Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WV Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution: ME
to Ont. & Man., s. to SC
& AR Native Habitat:
Thickets; river bank woods; wet to dry, low, open areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Will adapt to drier sites. Used in erosion control and for wildlife habitat. Resistant to most diseases, insects and physiological problems.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Fruit
eaten by birds and other wildlife. Used by many bird species including Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, and Eastern Bluebird. Conspicuous Flowers:
Birds , Butterflies Larval Host:
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds immediately after collection or scarify and stratify and sow the following spring. Cornus spp. will root from softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer, hardwood cuttings in winter, and suckers and division and by layering in the early
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 30-60 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
October 21, 2009
Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2010-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff