Browse Trees and Plants

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  • 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
    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
  • Red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea subsp. sericea)

    Also known as:

    Red-osier dogwood, redosier dogwood, red osier dogwood, red twig dogwood
    Red-osier dogwood is a large erect shrub best suited where the background, such as evergreens, will show off the dark red winter stems. Besides attractive, red stems in the winter, red-osier dogwood has yellowish-white flowers that appear in late May to early June and bluish-white fruit borne in late summer. This species was formerly known as Cornus stolonifera.

    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
  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

    Also known as:

    Redbud, Eastern redbud, Red bud
    In April and May, many neighborhoods are brightened by the purplish-pink flowers lining the dark branches of redbuds before their leaves open. This Chicago native plant, evolved in the understory and wood edges of forests. It works especially well among evergreens that contrast with its color and shelter it from intense sunlight.

    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
  • Reed canary grass (Not recommended) (Phalaris arundiancea)

    Also known as:

    Reed canary grass, ribbon grass

    Reed canary grass has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively.  Reed canary grass is an unusual species that is thought to be native to North America, Europe and Asia, with different ecotypes existing on different continents.  These ecotypes look identical but vary in their growth.  Reed canary grass is considered invasive in many areas and it is thought that the more aggressive Eurasian ecotypes have outgrown and possibly replaced, or hybridized with the native ecotypes.  Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this plant.

    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
  • Regal elm (Ulmus 'Regal')

    Also known as:

    Regal elm
    The tall regal elm has good Dutch elm disease (DED) resistance. It can be used as a specimen or in groups for streets, parks, and large yards. This hybrid is a University of Wisconsin introduction.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • RENAISSANCE REFLECTION® paper birch (Betula papyrifera 'Renci')

    Also known as:

    RENAISSANCE REFLECTION® paper birch
    The Renaissance Reflection® birch is a tall, fast-growing tree with striking bark that displays dark green foliage throughout the season, transitioning to a golden color in the fall. This tree is resistant to bronze birch borer (BBB) but does not do well when exposed to drought or polluted conditions.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Rhododendron P.J.M. (Rhododendron 'P.J.M.')

    Also known as:

    P.J.M.hybrid rhododendron
    Rhododendrons are shrubs with showy flowers in spring, usually in shade of white, pink, purple and red. Some types of rhododendrons that lose their leaves in winter are commonly called azaleas. Relatively few rhododendrons are fully hardy in the Chicago area or can cope well with its alkaline soils. The hybrid Rhododendron P.J.M. does very well in cold climates and is one of the hardier rhododendrons for the Chicago region. It is able to tolerate near-neutral soils.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • River birch (Betula nigra)

    Also known as:

    river birch, red birch
    River birch is a popular, fast-growing native tree for the home landscape. Attractive salmon-pink to reddish-brown bark exfoliates to reveal lighter inner bark. Dark green foliage turns a beautiful buttery yellow in the fall. This species is resistant to bronze birch borer (BBB).

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Rock cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis)

    Also known as:

    rock cotoneaster; rockspray
    Rock cotoneaster is a low spreading shrub often used as a ground cover or left to spill over slopes and ledge walls. The densely branched plant has glossy, dark green foliage, deep red fruits and reddish purple fall color.

    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
  • Rock cress (Arabis caucasica)

    Also known as:

    Rock cress, wall rock cress, garden rock cress
    Rock cress is a ground cover for small areas. It works well in rock gardens, along retaining walls and as an edging plant.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

    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
  • Rough-leaved deutzia (Deutzia scabra)

    Also known as:

    Rough-leaved deutzia, roughleaf deutzia, fuzzy deutzia
    Rough-leaved deutzia is an old-fashioned, large, upright to oval, spreading shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide. The spreading, arching stems are laden with showy, pink-tinged white flower panicles in spring. The dark, peeling bark adds winter texture. Best at back of border or use as a screen. May be difficult to find in nursery with newer and more improved plants available.

    Size Range:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native

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