Browse Trees and Plants

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  • 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
  • Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

    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
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia )

    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
  • Red hickory (Carya ovalis )

    Also known as:

    red hickory, pignut hickory, false shagbark, small pignut
    Red hickory is sometimes referred to as pignut hickory or false shagbark hickory. It has a slightly shaggy bark and good golden-yellow fall color. The nuts are edible and are attractive to wildlife.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Red horse-chestnut (Aesculus carnea)

    Also known as:

    red horse-chestnut, red horsechestnut
    The red horse-chestnut, a cross between horse-chestnut and red buckeye, is an excellent shade tree for large areas. Its distinctive, rose-red, cone-shaped flower clusters bloom in May among the lustrous dark green leaves.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Red maple (Acer rubrum)

    Also known as:

    red maple, swamp maple, scarlet maple
    Red maple is a widely adaptable large tree common to the woods of eastern North America. A red tinge can be found in its flowers, twigs, and seeds, but it is most notable for the scarlet of its leaves in fall. Red maple needs plenty of room for its dense, spreading root system. Fall color can be yellow rather than red, so select a cultivar bred for red 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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Red mulberry (Morus rubra)

    Also known as:

    red mulberry
    The uncommon red mulberry is a native woodland tree often reaching 40 to 60 feet tall. The dark green leaves turn a golden yellow and often remain late into autumn. The deep purple fruits of the female tree are sweet and relished by wildlife but can be quite messy.

    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
  • Red pine (Pinus resinosa)

    Also known as:

    Red Pine, Norway Pine
    Red pine is a large native, long-lived evergreen tree of dry habitats.The handsome, tall straight trunk and beautiful red bark add to its beauty. Red pine has fallen out of favor as an ornamental landscape plant and not recommended because of its susceptibility to insect and disease problems.

    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:

    • North America
  • Red-leaved rose (Rosa glauca )

    Also known as:

    Red-leaved rose, red leaved rose, redleaf rose
    A large, vase-shaped species rose grown for its outstanding blue-green foliage and aching stems. It is one of the more cold hardy roses for northern climates. The cherry-pink flowers contrast nicely with the foliage in late spring. It is not a repeat bloomer. The red rose hips are a favorite to many birds. This species grows wild in the mountains of southern Europe.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native

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