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(Cornus racemosa)
Gray Dogwood

Host Plant: Spring Azure Butterfly (Celastrina ladon) and Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

Nectar Plant: many insects including other butterflies, bees, wasps, and beetles.

Flower Color: white

Growth Habit: deciduous shrub

Flowering Time: May to June

Range in North America: Western United States and Canada

Exposure: Prefers full sun to part shade

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Soil Requirements: well-drained soil

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Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

White flowers of gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa).
Flowers of Gray Dogwood — Violmsyan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

Northern Swamp Dogwood

Description of Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa), a member of the Cornaceae (Dogwood Family), is a deciduous shrub that grows from 10′ to 15′ tall and blooms in the spring and early summer (May to June).  This plant grows in places with full sun or part shade in well-drained soil.

Hosted Species

Spring Azure Butterfly (Celastrinia ladon)

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) on a leaf.
Spring Azure Butterfly on Leaf — ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)

Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia) on a branch.
Cecropia Moth on Branch — Marvin Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nectar Species

Birds enjoy the fruits in the fall.


This dogwood grows in places with full sun to part-shade having well-drained soil.

Range of Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) in the United States and Canada

Range of gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) in the United States and Canada.
Range of gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa) in the United States and Canada.

Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) is native to the midwestern and eastern United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Cornus, comes from the Latin word, “Cornu,” which means horn and is in reference to the tough wood of the members of the genus (Missouri Botanical Garden).  The species name, racemosa, is the Latin for racemes, in reference to the flowers.


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Gray Dogwood”

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