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TREES & plants

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  • Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)

    Also known as: horse-chestnut, horse chestnut, common horse-chestnut

    Horse chestnut is a large tree known for showy flowers in May. The clusters of white flowers may be 6 inches tall or more. This non-native can be messy when its fruit drops and offers little in the way of fall color.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush buckeye)

    Also known as: Bottlebrush buckeye

    Bottlebrush buckeye is a handsome shrub that has memorable long fluffy white flower clusters in early July. It is useful as an understory planting in woodland gardens, as a specimen plant, or in a shrub border. Also known as Aesculus macrostachya.

    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)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Aesculus pavia (Red buckeye)

    Also known as: red buckeye

    Red buckeye is quite lovely in spring, with its tall clusters of red flowers. It is a small tree, able to be planted under power lines. This tree is susceptible to leaf blotch.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 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)

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Ailanthus altissima (Tree of heaven (Not recommended))

    Also known as: tree of heaven, paradise tree

    Tree of heaven has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites. Tree of heaven is an aggressive grower and produces a lot of suckers. It is generally not recommended for landscapes.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed)

    Also known as: Bugleweed, carpet bugleweed, ajuga

    The low, dense spreading habit of bugleweed makes an excellent ground cover for part-shade or shady areas.

    Size Range: 
    • Small plant (6-12 inches), 
    • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)

    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)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Akebia quinata (Five-leaved akebia)

    Also known as: Five-leaved akebia, chocolate vine

    Five-leaved akebia is a vigorous vine and may grow aggressively enough that it needs to be controlled. Akebia has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This plant is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this vine for planting sites.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Alnus glutinosa (European black alder (Not recommended))

    Also known as: European black alder, European alder, Common alder

    European black alder has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Alnus incana (European white alder)

    Also known as: European white alder, white alder, gray alder

    European white alder is a fast-growing tree that may be considered as a street tree. Early spring flowers are interesting, but not really showy. This tree may be difficult to find in local nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Alnus incana subsp. rugosa (Speckled alder)

    Also known as: speckled alder

    Speckled alder is a smaller tree that is appropriate for planting under power lines. Early spring flowers are interesting, but not really showy. This tree may be difficult to find in local nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Alnus maritima (Seaside alder)

    Also known as: seaside alder, brook alder

    Seaside alder is a fast-growing native tree. It stays short enough to be used under utility lines, but may be difficult to locate in local nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Amelanchier canadensis (Canada Serviceberry)

    Also known as: Canada serviceberry, Canada shadbush, thicket serviceberry, Juneberry, shadblow serviceberry, shadblow, shadbush, shadbush serviceberry, sugarplum, Thicket Serviceberry)

    This large deciduous shrub or small tree, with many colony-forming erect stems is often found growing in swampy, wet sites in Eastern North America. In yards and landscapes in the Midwest, Canada Serviceberry is best suited for wet sites. It has white blooms in early spring followed by oval green leaves and edible red fruit, attractive to birds, in mid to late summer. The fall color is orange-red.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry)

    Also known as: Saskatoon serviceberry, western serviceberry, alder-leaved serviceberry, Indian Pear

    Saskatoon or western serviceberry is a medium to large upright, multi-stemmed shrub with four-season interest. The clusters of fragrant, white drooping flowers appear in spring, followed by large, bluish-purple berries which are juicy and edible. Small blue-green leaves turn brilliant yellow and red in fall and the light gray bark is smooth with vertical streaks add winter interest. Excellent for shrub borders, woodland gardens and in mass.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Amelanchier arborea (Downy serviceberry)

    Also known as: downy serviceberry, juneberry, serviceberry

    Downy serviceberry is a four-season plant offering white flowers in spring, small red berries in summer, excellent fall color and gray bark in winter. The fruit is usually eaten very quickly by birds.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Amelanchier grandiflora (Apple serviceberry)

    Also known as: apple serviceberry, juneberry, shadblow

    Apple serviceberry is a wonderful four-season tree with white flowers in the spring, blue-green leaves that turn red in the fall, blue-black edible berries, and smooth silver-gray bark. Excellent for a woodland garden, naturalized setting, or as a specimen plant in a garden. This tree is a hybrid of two native species of serviceberry.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Amelanchier interior (Inland shadbush)

    Also known as: inland shadbush

    Inland shadbush is related to serviceberry and offers similar ornamental features (white flowers, small red berries, excellent fall color). This species may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny serviceberry)

    Also known as: Allegheny serviceberry, smooth shadbush, Juneberry

    Allegheny serviceberry is a small native understory tree with four-season interest. The early white spring flowers, outstanding orange-red fall color, and striking gray bark make it a lovely specimen for any landscape. The edible purplish-black fruit in late summer is attractive to many birds.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Amelanchier ovalis (Garden serviceberry)

    Also known as: Garden serviceberry, snowy mespilus

    Garden serviceberry, also known as snowy mespilus is a European native. The upright, erect, multi-stemmed shrub is found on limestone outcrops and in rocky woods. The white spring flowers and edible blue berries attract birds and wildlife. This plant may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Amelanchier stolonifera (Running Serviceberry)

    Also known as: Running serviceberry, Running Juneberry

    Running serviceberry is a small, 4 to 6 feet high suckering shrub with white flowers, dark blue edible fruits. Native to Northeastern United States. May be difficult to find in the nursery trade.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Amorpha canescens (Leadplant)

    Also known as: Leadplant

    Leadplant is a upright, rounded shrub, native to the Midwest, that does well in dry sandy to clay soil; the attractive gray-green foliage adds nice contrast in rock gardens. The purplish-blue flower spikes in June and July serve as a host to caterpillars, as well as a nectar source for butterflies, and a food source for birds.

    Size Range: 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet), 
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo-bush)

    Also known as: indigo-bush; indigobush; false-indigo; desert indigo-bush; indigo bush amorpha; bastard indigo

    Indigo-bush is a medium to large, finely textured, native shrub for wet to dry soils. The 1-foot long, compound leaves are a gray-green. The long-blooming, showy, 3 to 6-inch long, upright flower spikes are royal purple with yellow -orange anthers. A cousin of the shorter prairie lead plant. Plants may be short-lived.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelain vine)

    Also known as: Porcelain vine, Amur peppervine

    Porcelain vine is a woody vine that produces berries in beautiful shades of purple and bright blue. Unfortunately these fruits contain seeds and the plant self-seeds aggressively making it weedy. This plant is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this vine for planting sites.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem)

    Also known as: Big bluestem, turkeyfoot

    Big bluestem is a native grass and one of the main components of the tallgrass prairies that once covered Illinois. It offers interest in the landscape throughout the winter.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Aralia elata (Angelica tree)

    Also known as: Angelica tree, Japanese angelica tree

    This unusual plant is hard to define. It grows tall enough in the wild to be a tree, but is often a large shrub in landscapes. Large clusters of tiny white flowers appear in late summer followed by small, black fruit. Stems are thorny. Angelica tree has become invasive in a few areas.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Aralia spinosa (Devil’s Walking Stick)

    Also known as: Devil’s walking stick, Hercules-club

    This unusual U.S. native has a very exotic look, with large, compound leaves and late summer flowers. Devil's walking stick has coarse, thorny stems.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Aristolochia durior (Dutchman's pipe)

    Also known as: Dutchman's pipe, pipevine

    Dutchman's pipe is a vigorous twining vine that serves as a food source for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly and its caterpillars. Also known as Aristolochia macrophylla.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Aronia arbutifolia (Red Chokeberry)

    Also known as: Red chokeberry

    A tall, multi-stemmed native shrub with abundant white flowers, red glossy berries, and outstanding red fall color. Red chokeberry is a tough, dependable plant with three-season interest, especially in shady, wet sites. It works well in a naturalized landscape or garden.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Aronia melanocarpa (Black chokeberry)

    Also known as: Black chokeberry

    Black chokeberry is a dependable small to medium sized shrub with upright, mounded habit. Small clusters of white flowers in spring are followed by glossy black fruit. Dark green foliage turns reddish-purple in the fall.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Aronia prunifolia (Purple chokeberry)

    Also known as: purple chokeberry; purple-fruited chokeberry

    Purple chokeberry is a hybrid of red chokeberry and black chokeberry. It is a multi-stemmed, large shrub with showy white spring flowers, dark green foliage, beautiful red fall color and deep purple berries. An excellent choice for massing in low, wet areas in the landscape.

    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)

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois

  • Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum 'Variegatum' (Variegated tuber oat grass)

    Also known as: Variegated tuber oat grass, variegated bulbous oat grass, variegated orchard grass

    This species is not usually sold except as the cultivar 'Variegatum' which has striped leaves. This cultivar is a low-growing, non-native grass.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches), 
    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

    Also known as: Swamp milkweed

    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Swamp milkweed is an erect, clump-forming, native plant commonly found in swamps and wet meadows. An essential plant for wet areas. The pinkish white flowers are a prime source of nectar for many butterflies.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

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