Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) is a large shrub that grows naturally in moist or rocky ground along streams and ponds, as well as in prairie margins and thickets. It is also adaptable to drier sites once established. The small white flowers that bloom in rounded clusters attract butterflies and other native pollinators. After flowering, Gray Dogwood produces white fruits through October. These fruits are an important food source for birds and other wildlife. The foliage sometimes turns purplish red in the fall, and new stem growth turns red in the fall and early winter. Gray Dogwood naturally produces thickets, so it’s an excellent choice for shrub borders or naturalized areas. The thickets provides shelter for small mammals as well as nesting sites for birds. Gray Dogwood is a larval host to the Spring Azure Butterfly (shown above).