TREES & plants

Search Trees and Plants

The Morton Arboretum's plant database contains hundreds of species of trees, shrubs, vines and grasses.
Enter search terms and / or select checkboxes that meet your search criteria and click “SUBMIT” to get your results.
You can clear your search and start over by using the “RESET FORM” button at the bottom of the page. You may also browse all species by visiting the complete list of Tree and Plant Descriptions.

Use the “SEARCH TERMS” box at the right to search for a plant by common name, botanical name, or keywords. In the results list, click the preferred name or image for more details on a tree or plant.
If you’re not sure whether the plant is a small tree or a shrub, or whether it is a perennial or a ground cover, check both boxes.
You can check more than one box. For example, to see what plant might fit under a power line, you might check both “Large shrub” and “Compact tree.”
These refer to the US Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zone Maps, which divides the country into regions based on their average low winter temperature ranges. Plants are assigned to hardiness zones based on the low temperatures they have been found to tolerate.

USDA hardiness zone map

Growth rates vary by plant type. For example for trees slow indicates less than 10 inches per year, moderate is 10-20 inches per year, and a fast growing tree is more than 20 inches per year.
If you check “North America,” the results list will include plants native to Illinois and to the Chicago area as well as the rest of the continent. If you click “Chicago area,” the results list will include only plants native to northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, based on Plants of the Chicago Region by Floyd Swink & Gerould Wilhelm.
These boxes refer to the time of year that the plant is most attractive. For example a tree with lovely fall color is most attractive in the fall, while a flowering shrub may be at its most attractive in spring or summer. Many plants are interesting in multiple seasons for different reasons, such as interesting bark in winter but flowers in summer. You can check multiple boxes.
If you are not sure how much daylight there is in the place where you plan to put the plant, click all the boxes you think might apply.
Click the type of soil you have to find plants suited to it.
To find plants that can tolerate less than perfect growing conditions, click the boxes that apply to your site.
Some terms, such as “Oval,” will apply better to trees and some, such as “Creeping” will apply better to shrubs and perennials.
Check all that apply. “Utility” refers to trees and shrubs that are compact enough to fit safely beneath a power or telephone line.