Gray dogwood is a very adaptable, native shrub that is excellent for naturalizing, especially in difficult sites, such as pond and stream banks. Although its suckering and spreading habit makes it impractical for formal plantings, it can be incorporated into the shrub border and useful as a mass planting. Creamy white clusters of flowers in May are followed by white berries in late summer that are quickly eaten by birds.
This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) Dogwood
- Family (botanic) Cornaceae
- Tree or plant type Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
- Soil preference Dry soil, Wet soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Occasional flooding, Wet sites
- Season of interest late spring, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
- Flower color and fragrance White
- Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Thicket-forming, Upright
- Growth rate Slow