TREES & plants

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  • Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica)

    Also known as: Persian ironwood, parrotia, Persian parrotia

    Persian parrotia or Persian ironwood is a small upright tree or large, rounded, multi-stemmed shrub. Related to witch-hazel, the oblong green leaves turn various shades of red, orange and yellow in the fall, often persisting into the winter months. The mature bark exfoliates to patches of green, tan and white.

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

  • Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

    Also known as: Persimmon, Common Persimmon

    Persimmon is a southeastern U.S. native tree that is easily recognized in winter by its unusual rugged, blocky bark. Female trees produce large orange-brown fleshy fruit that are edible after the first frost. Thick, dark green leaves turn a yellow fall color. Native persimmon is not readily available in nurseries, but several selected cultivars are produced for their edible fruit.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Pignut hickory (Carya glabra)

    Also known as: pignut hickory

    Pignut hickory is a large tree that has a tall, but relatively narrow crown. The bark is tight rather than shaggy and fall color is golden. The nuts produced are bitter tasting.

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

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

  • Pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica)

    Also known as: Pin cherry, Bird cherry, Wild red cherry, Fire cherry

    Pin cherry is a fast-growing, slender tree reaching 30 feet tall with a narrow crown, often forming dense colonies. This short-lived tree is often found growing in sunny, dry soils and one of the first trees to appear after fires. Attractive, reddish brown bark is marked with horizontal bands of orange-colored lenticels. Difficult to find in nursery trade. Native to Midwest.

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

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

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

  • Pin oak (Quercus palustris)

    Also known as: pin oak

    Pin oak is an Illinois native and has been widely planted in landscapes for many years. Unfortunately this tree suffers greatly from chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves due to high soil pH. Pin oak is no longer recommended for landscapes in areas with high soil pH.

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

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

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

  • Pink muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

    Also known as: Pink muhly, pink hair grass, sweetgrass

    Pink muhly is an annual grass in northern Illinois, but it may be worth planting for the showy display of flowers very late in the season (October).

    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: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Porcelain vine (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)

    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

  • Possum-haw (Ilex decidua)

    Also known as: Possum-haw, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly

    Possum-haw holly is a southern deciduous shrub that can grow tree-like in its native habitat. In the Midwest if reaches 10 to 12 feet high but in the south it can be 20 to 30 feet high. Dark green foliage turns brownish- yellow in fall before dropping. Early white flowers appear before the leaves. Female plants will produce bright red, persistent fruit. Requires male and female plant to produce fruit.

    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, 
    • North America

  • Prairie cord grass (Spartina pectinata)

    Also known as: Prairie cord grass, prairie cordgrass, slough grass, rip gut, marsh grass

    Prairie cord grass, unlike many grasses of the tallgrass prairie, is found in wet prairies and marshy areas. This grass is a running grass that can spread aggressively by rhizomes. It has a beautiful arching form that suggests motion.

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

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

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

  • Prairie crabapple (Malus ioensis)

    Also known as: prairie crabapple, Iowa crabapple

    Prairie crabapple was once commonly found throughout the Midwest prairies and savannas. Spectacular in bloom, deep pink flower buds open to white flowers. Their fruit is popular with a myriad of wildlife. Unfortunately, prairie crabapple is susceptible to many foliar diseases.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

    Also known as: Prairie dropseed, Northern dropseed

    Prairie dropseed is a smaller prairie grass, growing only about 3 feet tall. It has a graceful arching habit and flowers late in the season.

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

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

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

  • Prairie rose (Rosa setigera)

    Also known as: Prairie rose; Climbing rose; Illinois rose; Sunshine rose; Michigan rose

    Prairie rose, also called Illinois rose, is a wide spreading, native shrub or climbing rose with arching stems. The large, pink, slightly fragrant roses bloom in June and fade to white followed by bristly red fruits. Fall color is a kaleidoscope of red, orange, purple, and yellow.

    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

  • Prairie Willow (Salix humilis)

    Also known as: Prairie willow, Upland willow, Small pussy willow, Dwarf willow

    Prairie willow is a dwarf shrubby willow reaching 4 to 6 feet high, but can grow as high as10 feet with branches reaching low to the ground. Often found in upland open prairies, along roadsides and disturbed sandy soil. One of the first shrubs to flower in the spring before the leaves emerge.

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

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

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

  • Prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

    Also known as: Prickly-ash, Prickly ash, Pricklyash, Toothache tree

    Prickly-ash is a tall, colony-forming small tree or large shrub reaching 15 to 25 feet tall and wide. Twigs and stems are covered in 1/2 inch prickles making it difficult to use in the landscape. In spite of its common name, it is not related to Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) of the Olive family. Rarely found in the nursery trade.

    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

  • Primrose Rose (Rosa primula)

    Also known as: Primrose rose, Incense rose

    Primrose rose also known as Incense rose is a highly fragrant, pale yellow, wild shrub rose. The upright, arching stems reach 5 to 6 feet high with small glossy, serrated leaflets. A one time bloomer in early May, best for mixed borders and massing. May be difficult to find in nursery.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Princeton elm (Ulmus americana 'Princeton')

    Also known as: Princeton elm

    The Princeton elm exhibits good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and demonstrates resistance to elm beetles as well. This large, fast-growing tree is tolerant of many adverse site conditions.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Prospector elm (Ulmus davidiana var. japonica 'Prospector')

    Also known as: Prospector elm, Prospector Wilson's elm

    The Prospector elm is a hybrid of Asian elm species; it is smaller than the American elm and exhibits excellent resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and elm leaf beetle. This fast-growing tree needs regular pruning to maintain its vase form. Its leaves emerge orange red and mature to green; in the fall, it erupts in a brilliant yellow. Useful as street, parkway, or shade tree.

    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

  • Pumpkin ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus tomentosa)

    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

  • Purple basket willow (Salix purpurea)

    Also known as: Purple basket willow; Purple-osier willow; Basket willow

    Purple basket willow is a large, finely textured, upright shrub with reddish purple stems often used in basket weaving. The blue-green, narrow foliage has silvery undersides adding to summer interest.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • Purple beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma)

    Also known as: Purple beautyberry

    Purple beautyberry is a small shrub with finely textured leaves that turns shades of yellow and purple in the fall. It is grown for its unusual bright lilac-colored fall berries borne in dense clusters along the graceful arching stems.When planted en masse it is particularly attractive for fall interest in the landscape.

    Size Range: 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet), 
    • 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: 
    • Non-native

  • Purple chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia)

    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

  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

    Also known as: Purple Coneflower, Broad-Leaved Purple Coneflower

    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Purple coneflower is a native wildflower of Illinois and the Chicago Region. It offers color in the middle of summer and cones full of seeds for birds during winter.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches), 
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

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

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

  • Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis)

    Also known as: Purple love grass

    Purple love grass is a Midwestern native that produces reddish-purple flowers and fruit that hang over the plant like a cloud. This is a warm season, clumping grass.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches), 
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

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

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

  • Purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea)

    Also known as: purple moor grass, tall purple moor grass

    Purple moor grass is similar to moor grass but is taller and in some cases significantly taller. For many cultivars, the flowering stalks make up most of the height, with the mound of foliage often only 2 to 3 feet tall

    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

  • Purple Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena)

    Also known as: Purpleleaf sand cherry

    Purple sand cherry is a widely planted deciduous small tree. It has an upright, spreading habit, with reddish-purple foliage and fragrant whitish-pink flowers. It is short-lived and prone to significant insect and disease problems.

    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

  • Purple-flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus)

    Also known as: Flowering raspberry, Virginia raspberry

    A large leaved, flowering raspberry with rose-purple flowers and red, drooping clusters of fruit. A suckering plant forming large colonies. A good plant for a natural area or wildflower garden.

    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

  • Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

    Also known as: Pussy Willow

    Pussy Willow is a short-lived, fast growing, native tree or large shrubby shrub with a rounded crown. In early spring the silky furry catkins open before the leaves to signal spring is on the way.

    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)

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

    Also known as: quaking aspen

    This fast-growing native tree has beautiful silvery gray bark and leaves that "tremble" in the wind due to flat leaf stalks. Unfortunately this tree is short-lived and prone to some disease and insect problems; it is also highly susceptible to ice storm damage.

    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

  • Ravenna grass (Saccharum ravennae (syn. Erianthus ravennae))

    Also known as: Ravenna grass, hardy pampas grass, plume grass

    Ravenna grass is a very large, non-native grass that is often used as a substitute for Pampas grass in northern climates. It is sometimes called hardy pampas grass. This grass should be used with caution as it has shown invasive tendencies in southern states.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

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