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  • Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)

    Also known as:

    Chinese wisteria
    Chinese wisteria is a beautiful vine in flower, but it is an aggressive grower and is considered invasive in some areas, especially in the southern United States. 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
  • Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

    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
  • Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

    Also known as:

    Chinkapin oak, Chinquapin oak, yellow chestnut oak, yellow oak, rock oak
    Chinkapin oak is native to the Midwest, where it is often found as a specimen planting or as a grouping of tree for parks and large areas. Chinkapin oaks perform well in alkaline soils. Young trees retain a pyramidal to oval habit with a pale gray, scaly ridged central trunk. As trees age, the crown becomes more rounded.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

    Also known as:

    Chive, Chives, Wild chives
    Chives is a perennial bulb often grown as an herb for its edible leaves. The dense clusters of light pink to purplish white flowers have a honey-scent and add ornamental interest to the summer garden.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)

    Also known as:

    Climbing hydrangea
    Climbing hydrangea is a woody vine that clings and climbs by attaching itself with tiny rootlets to a wall, trellis or other support. In early July, it has flat, lacy clusters of fragrant small white flowers that show up well against the glossy green leaves. Also known as Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris.

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Clove currant (Ribes odoratum (syn. Ribes aureum var villosum))

    Also known as:

    Clove currant, buffalo currant, Missouri currant, golden currant
    An irregularly shaped, loosely branched, native shrub reaching 6 to 8 feet high. In springtime the bright yellow flowers smell like cloves.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli)

    Also known as:

    cockspur hawthorn
    Cockspur hawthorn is a Chicago-area native that provides beautiful flowers in spring and persistent fruit in fall and winter. This species should be used with care as it has long thorns and is prone to disease. White flowers in the spring, persistent red fruit, and the orange-red fall color of this Midwestern native make it a nice addition to the four-season landscape.

    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
  • COMMENDATION™ elm (Ulmus 'Morton Stalwart')

    Also known as:

    COMMENDATION™ elm
    This fast-growing cultivar is extremely tolerant of drought and cold. The COMMENDATION™ elm is resistant to Dutch elm disease (DED) but moderately susceptible to insect problems, notably elm leaf beetle, Japanese beetle, and gypsy moth. Use along streets and in large yards. The Morton Arboretum introduced this cultivar through Chicagoland Grows®.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)

    Also known as:

    Common bleeding heart, bleeding heart
    Common bleeding heart is an early-blooming perennial for shady sites. The delicate, pink heart-shaped flowers hang on long arching stems.

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

    Also known as:

    Common boxwood, box, common box
    Common boxwood is a broadly rounded evergreen shrub or small tree. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa found in open woodlands and rocky hillsides. A popular ornamental evergreen used as hedges, borders and topiary. Named because wood was popular for making boxes and cabinets.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • 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),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common buckthorn (Illegal to sell in Illinois) (Rhamnus cathartica)

    Also known as:

    Common buckthorn, buckthorn, European buckthorn, rhine berry
    Common buckthorn is an invasive plant in Illinois and should not be planted. It forms dense thickets and reproduces very freely, crowding out other plants and disrupting ecosystems in forest preserves and other natural areas. In woodlands it can completely replace existing understory plants, including native wildflowers. Under the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, buckthorn cannot be sold in Illinois.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

    Also known as:

    Common chokecherry, Virginia bird cherry, bitter cherry
    A large deciduous shrub or small, 20-foot-high, understory tree often forming a dense colony. Slender twigs form a oval to rounded crown. Clusters of drooping white flowers are followed by dark purple fruit. Native throughout most of the United States but difficult to find in the nursery trade. Susceptible to many insect and disease problems.

    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
  • Common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

    Also known as:

    Common elderberry, elderberry
    Common elderberry is a large multi-stemmed, native shrub with showy white flower clusters in mid-summer followed by juicy, blue-black fruits. Plants are coarse and best used for naturalizing or as a back of the border hedge. Also known as Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common fig (Ficus carica)

    Also known as:

    Common fig
    Common fig is a medium to large shrub or small compact tree reaching 10 to 12 feet high. Will die back to the ground in northern climates if not winter protected. Large course leaves and edible fruit add summer interest. Can be grown in containers.

    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
  • Common flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)

    Also known as:

    Common flowering quince, flowering quince
    Common flowering quince is a tall, deciduous shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high. Shiny, dark green leaves appear before the scarlet-red flowers emerge in spring. Dense tangles of stems have spiny thorns, best used as a hedge, back of the border or in mass. Edible fruit is used to make jam and jellies.

    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
  • Common hop (Humulus lupulus)

    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
  • Common juniper (Juniperus communis)

    Also known as:

    Common juniper
    The common juniper may be a shrub or small tree. This is one of the most commonly found junipers throughout the world. It's typically found in dry, rocky, wooded hillsides or exposed slopes. The oil from the fleshy cones is used as flavoring and to make gin.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • 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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

    Also known as:

    Common lilac, lilac, English lilac, French lilac
    The common lilac is an old-fashioned, long-lived, and well-loved lilac best known for its fragrant flowers. It is extremely hardy and thrives with little care which make it a lovely shrub for a specimen planting, in masses, screens, hedges, or mixed in shrub borders.

    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
  • Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

    Also known as:

    Common milkweed
    Common milkweed is a butterfly magnet and an important plant for the monarch butterfly eggs and larvae. This aggressive, native spreader reaches 3 to 5 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide and will grow in thickets, woodland borders, fields, fence rows, and areas along railroads and roadsides.

    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,
    • North America
  • Common morning glory (ANNUAL VINE) (Ipomoea purpurea)

    Also known as:

    Common monring glory
    Common morning glory is a well-loved annual vine that produces an abundance of colorful flowers from mid-summer into autumn. Numerous cultivars are available as seeds.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

    Also known as:

    common ninebark; ninebark; Atlantic ninebark; eastern ninebark
    Ninebark is a cold hardy, tough, native shrub for mixed borders. Pinkish-white flower clusters in late spring, persistent seed capsules and exfoliating bark adds to the seasonal interest. Foliage of cultivars varies in size and color from purple to lime green.

    Size Range:

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

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common pearlbush (Exochorda racemosa)

    Also known as:

    Pearlbush, common pearlbush, Turkestan pearlbush, Chinese pearlbush, Wilson's pearlbush
    Common pearlbush is an old-fashioned, but not commonly used shrub. This attractive and fairly long-blooming shrub has small, round, pearl-like flower buds that open in sequence to pure white, five-petaled flowers. Foliage is medium green turning to a soft yellow fall color. Older bark peels off, similar to birch, adding winter interest.

    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
  • Common periwinkle (Vinca minor)

    Also known as:

    Common periwinkle, periwinkle, vinca, myrtle
    Common periwinkle is widely available for sale as a ground cover and it has been used in landscapes for many decades. In some areas, however, it is escaping cultivation into natural areas and should be used with caution.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • Common reed (Not recommended) (Phragmites australis)

    Also known as:

    Common reed
    Common reed is an aggressive grass that is considered invasive in many areas.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

    Also known as:

    Common winterberry, Canada holly, Deciduous holly, Michigan holly, Virginia winterberry, Winterberry holly
    The bright red persistent fruits of common winterberry glow in the winter landscape. This deciduous species of holly, native to the eastern US and Canada, is a dense, multi-branched shrub. The summer foliage is glossy dark green turning yellow in fall. An excellent choice for wet sites, naturalized area or in the shrub border. Both male and female plants are needed for fruit.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

    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
  • Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

    Also known as:

    Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Milifoil, Thousand-seal,
    Common yarrow is a strongly aromatic, spreading perennial for hot, dry sites. Numerous, small white flowers are borne in terminal dense clusters blooming in mid-to -late summer above the fern-like, small, gray-green leaves.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)

    Also known as:

    Coralberry, Indiancurrant Coralberry, Buckbrush
    Coralberry is a low-growing, spreading shrub with arching stems that produces clusters of purplish red fruits in the fall. It is a good food source for several species of bird. This shrub is native to Eastern U.S.and a good plant for naturalizing in open woodlands or used to stabilize steep slopes because of its suckering habit.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • Cornelian-cherry dogwood (Cornus mas)

    Also known as:

    cornelian-cherry dogwood, corneliancherry dogwood
    Cornelian-cherry dogwood is a small, 20- to 25-foot-high tree or large shrub that thrives in well-drained urban conditions as a specimen plant, in masses, near a patio, or as a hedge. The tree is native to Europe and Asia.

    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
  • Crabapple cultivars (Malus)

    Also known as:

    crabapple, flowering crab, flowering crabapple
    Crabapples are a varied and diverse group. They include a number of species, hybrids, and cultivated varieties (cultivars). The mature size of the plant should be considered in your selection, as should the cultivar's disease resistance in relationship to its site (dry versus wet, for example).

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America

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