TREES & plants

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  • Forsythia viridissima (Green-stemmed Forsythia)

    Also known as: Green-stemmed forsythia, greenstem forsythia, Korean forsythia

    Green-stemmed forsythia, sometimes called Korean forsythia is an upright, flat-topped shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high and wide. Bright, 1-inch yellow flowers have a slight green tinge and appear a few weeks after other forsythia. Green-stemmed forsythia is one of the parents for the popular Forsythia x intermedia cultivars.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Forsythia x intermedia (Border Forsythia)

    Also known as: Border forsythia

    Border forsythia is a multi-stemmed shrub noted for the bright yellow flowers in early spring. An excellent shrub for mixed borders, in mass or as an informal hedge. Flower bud hardiness varies by cultivar and should be selected wisely.

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

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

  • Fothergilla gardenii (Dwarf fothergilla)

    Also known as: Dwarf fothergilla, Dwarf witch-alder

    Dwarf fothergilla is a small, multi-season shrub with white, bottle brush-like flowers in spring, blue-green leaves in summer turning a kaleidoscope of color in autumn.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Fothergilla major (Large Fothergilla)

    Also known as: Large Fothergilla, Witch-Alder

    Large Fothergilla is a large, rounded shrub with excellent 4-season interest. Early flowering, honey-scented bottle brush-like flowers appear before the leaves, summer foliage is a clean, blue-green changing to outstanding shades of orange, red, and yellow fall color.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • 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: 
    • Non-native

  • Fraxinus americana (White ash (Not recommended))

    Also known as: white ash, American ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), white ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. White ash, a native woodland tree found throughout the Midwest, had been used extensively as a shade and street tree. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

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

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

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

  • Fraxinus excelsior (European ash (Not recommended))

    Also known as: European ash, common ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), European ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. European ash is a large shade tree found throughout Europe which is hardy to the Midwest. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Fraxinus nigra (Black ash (Not recommended))

    Also known as: black ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), black ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Black ash is a medium-sized, native tree adaptable to wet sites. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

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

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

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

  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash (Not recommended))

    Also known as: green ash, red ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), green ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Green ash is a highly adaptable native tree; very cold hardy and tolerant of a wide range of soil pH and moisture levels. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Fraxinus quadrangulata (Blue ash (Not recommended))

    Also known as: blue ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), blue ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Blue ash, a Midwest native, is often found growing in limestone outcrops. It has distinctive, 4-sided winged stems and gray platy bark. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

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

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

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

  • Fraxinus tomentosa (Pumpkin ash (Not recommended))

    Also known as: pumpkin ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), pumpkin ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Pumpkin ash is a large tree found primarily growing in wet habitats. This U.S. native can reach 80 feet tall with a narrow crown. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Genista tinctoria (Dyer's Greenweed)

    Also known as: Dyer's greenweed, Common Woadwaxen, Woadwaxen, Dryer's Broom

    Dyer's Greenweed is a small deciduous shrub with green, upright, twiggy stems. A good plant for hot, dry sites such as rock gardens. Prefers acidic, well-drained soil and thrives in nutritionally poor soils. The bright yellow flowers appear from June through September and are used as a dye.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo)

    Also known as: ginkgo, maidenhair tree

    Ginkgo is a very pest-resistant tree. It has interesting, fan-shaped leaves that turn vivid yellow in fall. Only male trees should be purchased as the females produce messy fruit that have a potent odor.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey-locust)

    Also known as: honey-locust, honeylocust

    The native species of honey-locust has large thorns on its stems and bark. For this reason, thornless honey locust, also known as Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis, is most commonly sold. For the sake of species diversity, it should only be planted after careful consideration of alternatives.

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

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

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

  • Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis (Thornless honey-locust)

    Also known as: thornless honey-locust, common honey-locust, honeylocust, thornless honeylocust

    The light, dappled shade cast by the lacy foliage of this attractive tree is only one of its virtues. It also is durable and adaptable; as a result, honey locust is overused in city and suburban landscapes. For the sake of species diversity, it should only be planted after careful consideration of alternatives.

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

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

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

  • Gymnocladus dioicus (Kentucky coffeetree)

    Also known as: Kentucky coffeetree

    The Kentucky coffeetree's tolerance to pollution and a wide range of soils makes it a suitable tree for urban environments. Native to the Midwest, this tree bears leathery, reddish-brown seed pods that add winter interest to the Midwestern landscape.

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

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

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

  • Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass)

    Also known as: Japanese forest grass, hakone grass, hakonechloa grass

    Japanese forest grass is a low-growing grass that can be planted close together to form a ground cover. There are some interesting cultivars that provide color in the landscape.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Halesia carolina (Silverbell)

    Also known as: silverbell, Carolina silverbell, small-flowered silverbell

    Silverbell is a medium-sized tree that produces white bell-shaped flowers in spring. The flowers are followed by dry fruits with four wings. This tree may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 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

  • Hamamelis mollis (Chinese witch-hazel)

    Also known as: Chinese witch-hazel, witch hazel, witch-hazel, witchhazel

    In very early spring, before the leaves unfurl, Chinese witch-hazel blooms a deep yellow with a tinge of red on strap-like, crinkled flowers. Flowers have a spicy-scented fragrance. The new foliage is yellowish-green, deepening to medium green over the summer and turning buttery yellow in fall.

    Size Range: 
    • 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: 
    • Non-native

  • Hamamelis vernalis (Vernal witch-hazel)

    Also known as: Vernal witch-hazel, spring witch-hazel, witch-hazel; vernal witch hazel, witch hazel, witchhazel

    In late winter or very early spring, before the leaves unfurl, Vernal witch-hazel has yellow and orange-to-red flowers with a spicy fragrance that appears in late February and last three to four weeks. The new foliage is an attractive bronzy-red color that matures to dark green and then turns a rich butter yellow to golden yellow in fall. This is a great specimen plant for naturalized 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: 
    • North America

  • Hamamelis virginiana (Common witch-hazel)

    Also known as: Common witch hazel, Fall witch hazel, Fall-blooming witch hazel

    The yellow, strap-like flowers of this native shrub are among the last blooms to appear in fall, but are often hidden by the leaves. Common witch-hazel is a large shrub with a picturesque irregular branching habit that naturally grows along woodland edges. The large, rounded, dark green leaves often hang onto the winter branches. The fruit capsules mature a year after flowering, splitting open to expel seeds that are attractive to birds. Tolerant of road salt and clay soil, this is a great specimen plant, or for naturalized landscape.

    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), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

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

  • Hamamelis x intermedia (Hybrid witch-hazels)

    Also known as: witch-hazel, witch hazel, hybrid witch hazel, hybrid witch-hazel

    A number of hybrids have been bred between Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis) and Japanese witch-hazel (Hamamelis japonica). These large shrubs have interesting ribbon-like flowers, in shades of yellow to red, in late winter or very early spring before the leaves appear.

    Size Range: 
    • 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: 
    • Non-native

  • Hedera helix (English ivy)

    Also known as: English ivy

    English ivy is a versatile plant that functions as both a ground cover and a vine. It's evergreen foliage provides interest year round. This plant can grow aggressively and it considered invasive in some areas.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 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

  • Helictotrichon sempervirens (Blue oat grass)

    Also known as: Blue oat grass

    Blue oat grass is a cool season clumping grass with blue foliage, attractive flowers and a mounded form.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Heptacodium miconioides (Seven-Son Flower)

    Also known as: Seven-Son Flower

    Seven-son flower, which is really a large shrub or small tree, produces white flowers in late summer. After the petals fall, the pink sepals remain giving the appearance that the plant is in flower again. The whitish-tan bark peels in strips and is striking against a dark background. Use as a specimen plant, back or the border, or in a naturalized area.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • Hibiscus syriacus (Rose-of-Sharon)

    Also known as: Rose-of-Sharon; shrubby althea

    Rose-of-Sharon is an upright, narrow shrub or small tree valued for its mid-summer to late season prolific blooms. A wide range of flower colors vary by cultivar. Plants are late to leaf out in the spring.

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

  • Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea-buckthorn)

    Also known as: sea-buckthorn; sea buckthorn; common seabuckthorn

    A large, loose, open shrub or small tree forming large colonies. The silver-gray foliage and persistent orange berries on female plants add to the appeal. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • 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: 
    • Non-native

  • Hordeum jubatum (Foxtail barley)

    Also known as: Foxtail barley, squirrel-tail grass

    Foxtail barley is a grass native to much of Illinois. This short grass tolerates a wide range of tough conditions. It should be used with care as it readily self-seeds and can become weedy.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Humulus lupulus (Common hop)

    Also known as: Common hop, European hop

    Common hop is the plant used to flavor beer, but it can also be an ornamental vine for the garden.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • Non-native, 
    • North America

  • Hydrangea arborescens (Wild hydrangea)

    Also known as: Wild hydrangea, Smooth hydrangea, Sevenbark, Tree hydrangea

    Wild hydrangea is a hardy, adaptable shrub grown for its large, cloud-like clusters of early summer flowers that start out pale green and turn to white then eventually fade to brown adding winter interest to the landscape. Since it flowers on the tips of the new growth its flower buds are not diminished by harsh winters. It is native to woodlands in the eastern U.S. For garden purposes, cultivated varieties are more attractive.

    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: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Hydrangea macrophylla (Big-leaved hydrangea)

    Also known as: big-leaved hydrangea, big leaf hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, French hydrangea, Japanese hydrangea, lacecap hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, penny mac, hortensia

    Big-leaved hydrangeas are valued for their showy flowers, however, these small shrubs from Japan are generally not flower bud hardy in cold winters in Zone 5 and colder. This type of hydrangea sets its flower buds on the previous year's growth making them more susceptible to freeze damage. In recent years, newer varieties have been developed that are somewhat hardier, but will do better if placed in a protected location and covered with snow throughout the winter.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

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