30 Gray Dogwood
Image of the Tree You are Viewing

30 Gray Dogwood QR 5-17-24
Basic Information about this tree
  • Scientific Name: Cornus racemosa

  • Common Names:  Gray-stemmed Dogwood; Panicled Dogwood.  The genus name, Cornus, is the Latin from the word, cornu, which means ”horn’ which references the hardness of the wood. 
    Condition and age guess of the tree you are viewing: 
    Bark description: The bark of the older trees is grayish-brown and the stems reddish in color.

    Leaf Description: The upper surfaces of leaves are dark green and the undersides are pale green to almost white with short stiff hairs. The fall foliage is a reddish-purple.

  • Branch Structure: 

  •  Typical height and width at maturity:  4 to 15 feet high as a shrub and up to 27 feet tall as a small tree.

  • Typical longevity:  20-30 years

  • Soil, water, sunlight preferences:  The Gray Dogwood may be planted in full sun to partial shade and in a wide variety of soil types.  While it prefers moist soil, it withstands dry, wet, and poor soils well. They may be reproduced by seeds, soft and hardwood cuttings, suckers, division, and layering. The plant will colonize if the suckers are not removed.

  • Growth habit of roots: This plant spreads rapidly by growing suckers and is best used in naturalized settings. It will also serve to control erosion near ponds or embankments.

  • Flower/Seed Details: Monoecious. The creamy-white flowers have both male and female parts and form dome-shaped clusters.

  •  Typical Pollination Mechanism:  Insect pollinated.

  • Fruits: White berries with red stems that appear from August to October. 

  • GPS Coordinates:  45.00325N 92.90272W

Mature Tree in Winter/ Summer

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Leaves in Summer / Fall

30 Gray Dogwood summer leaves 5-17-24
30 Gray Dogwood fall leaves 5-17-24

Flowers - Female & Male parts in the same flower

30 Gray Dogwood flowers 5-17-24


30 Gray Dogwood fruit 5-17-24

Bark of Mature Tree / root system sketch

Gray Dogwood roots extend horizontally and form “suckers” or new plants along the way

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Uses in Traditional and Modern Eras

  • Value for wildlife: Many insects, including bees and butterflies, are attracted to this plant for pollen and nectar. Fruits are a good food
    source for many songbirds. They are also enjoyed by black bears, raccoons, squirrels, and chipmunks. In dense thickets, the shrub provides shelter for birds and small mammals as well.

  • Homeowners’  Corner: The Gray Dogwood is a wonderful native plant that will add spring, summer, and fall interest to naturalized areas or informal gardens. Grown as a shrub, it may be used for borders or screening. It is frequently planted for its showy flowers and fruits and colorful fall foliage.

  • Traditional uses in Native American Tree Medicine
    (historical): Information provided by Paul Red Elk, Lakota Medicine Man: 

Links & References

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