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  • Cranberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculata)

    Also known as:

    Cranberry cotoneaster
    The stiff, arching branches of the cranberry cotoneaster form an impenetrable mass, making it very effective cascading over a wall, in a shrub border, as a foundation plant, or a ground cover. Small, dark green, glossy leaves and cranberry-red fruit make it a nice addition to the landscape.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Creeping cotoneaster (Cotoneaster adpressus)

    Also known as:

    Creeping cotoneaster, early cotoneaster
    Creeping cotoneaster is a dense, low-growing, spreading shrub used as a ground cover, in rock gardens, or cascading over stone walls. Valued for its tiny white flowers, excellent glossy foliage and attractive red berries.

    Size Range:

    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet),
    • 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
  • Creeping lily-turf (Liriope spicata)

    Also known as:

    Creeping lily-turf, liriope
    Creeping lily-turf is a ground cover with very upright narrow foliage that resembles the foliage of bulbs. Flower spikes are produced from mid to late summer.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 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
  • Creeping thyme (Thymus praecox)

    Also known as:

    Creeping thyme, woolly thyme, mother of thyme
    Creeping time is generally used more as a ground cover than as an herb. This low-growing fuzzy plant spreads out in a mat and is covered with beautiful flowers.

    Size Range:

    • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • CRESCENDO™ sugar maple (Acer saccharum 'Morton')

    Also known as:

    CRESCENDO™ sugar maple
    The CRESCENDO™ sugar maple was introduced by The Morton Arboretum through Chicagoland® Grows. Its dark green leaves turn an orange-red in the fall. Once established, this tree is tolerant of heat and drought.

    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
  • Crimson glory vine (Vitis coignetiae)

    Also known as:

    Crimson glory vine
    Crimson glory vine is an ornamental grape grown for its excellent fall color. The fruit produced are not edible. This plant may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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
  • CRIMSON SPIRE™ oak (Quercus 'Crimschmidt')

    Also known as:

    CRIMSON SPIRE™ oak, hybrid oak
    CRIMSON SPIRE™ oak is a hybrid between English oak and White oak. It was selected for a narrow form (15 feet wide) and good red fall color. It is tolerant of a wide range of conditions.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata)

    Also known as:

    cucumbertree, cucumber magnolia
    This large, deciduous magnolia tree is excellent for large properties such as parks, golf courses, and naturalized areas. Cucumbertree's wide-spreading branches are covered with dark green leaves that turn an attractive yellow-brown in the fall. The cucumbertree yields interesting pinkish-red fruit pods.

    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:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Cup-and-saucer vine (ANNUAL VINE) (Cobaea scandens)

    Also known as:

    Cup-and-saucer vine, missionary bells, cathedral bells
    Cup-and-saucer vine is an easy to grow annual that supplies a quantity of unique flowers from mid-summer on. The flowers do look like little teacups sitting in saucers.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Cut-leaved stephanadra (Stephanandra incisa)

    Also known as:

    Stephanandra, cut-leaved stephanandra, cutleaf stephanandra, lace shrub
    Stephanandra is a small to medium-sized shrub forming large thickets. This graceful shrub has long, arching stems and is often grown for the maple-like leaves, which turn a stunning orange-red fall color. Very nice for woodland gardens and mixed borders

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Cypress vine (ANNUAL VINE) (Ipomoea quamoclit)

    Also known as:

    Cypress vine
    Cypress vine is an annual vine with bright red flowers that attract hummingbirds.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • DANADA CHARM™ elm (Ulmus 'Morton Red Tip')

    Also known as:

    DANADA CHARM™ elm
    The DANADA CHARM™ elm has very good Dutch elm disease (DED) and elm yellows resistance but is susceptible to elm leaf beetle. Its size makes it ideal for large yards and along streets. Its emerging leaves are glossy red, turning dark green in summer and yellow in fall. This tree is a Chicagoland Grows® selection.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

    Also known as:

    dawn redwood, water-fir, water-larch
    A large, conical-shaped tree reaching 70 to 100 feet high, dawn redwood is closely related to bald cypress (Taxodium) and redwood (Sequoia). The fern-like feathery foliage emerges light green in spring, changing to dark green in summer, then a russet-brown in autumn. It grows best in large landscapes.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Deer tongue grass (Dichanthelium clandestinum (syn. Panicum clandestinum))

    Also known as:

    Deer tongue grass
    Deer tongue grass is a native grass with an exotic bamboo-like appearance. This warm season, clumping grass tolerates dryness and infertile soils very well. It can be used for naturalizing in tough sites.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Devil’s walking stick (Aralia spinosa)

    Also known as:

    Devil’s walking stick, hercules-club
    This unusual U.S. native has a very exotic look, with large, compound leaves and late summer flowers. Devil's walking stick has coarse, thorny stems.

    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:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Dotted hawthorn (Crataegus punctata)

    Also known as:

    Dotted hawthorn
    Dotted hawthorn is named for its fruit which are red with white specks. This species has thorns that are up to three inches in length. Dotted hawthorn is very susceptible to the cedar rust diseases.

    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
  • Doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum var. plicatum)

    Also known as:

    Doublefile viburnum, Japanese snowball viburnum
    Doublefile viburnum or Japanese snowball viburnum, Viburnum plicatum var. plicatum, produces 2 to 3 inch wide showy, snowball-type clusters of white flowers in spring. A dense, upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with somewhat horizontal branching that grows 8 to 12 feet high. Dark green leaves are strongly-veined, toothed, with pleated upper surfaces turn a burgundy red to purplish red in fall. Although this shrub is well suited for the Midwestern landscape it can occasionally winter kill to the ground. This profile page also covers Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum. The difference is V. plicatum var. plicatum flowers are snowball-type flower clusters and bloom 2 to 3 weeks later than V. plicatum var tomentosum, which has a ring of large, sterile flowers surrounding a large center of small, fertile flowers.

    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
  • Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

    Also known as:

    Douglas-fir, Douglasfir, Douglas fir
    Douglas-fir is an excellent specimen plant or used in mass for screening. Although not a true fir, it is a beautiful evergreen for the larger landscape. It has a conical shape, similar to that seen on spruces.

    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
  • Downy arrowwood (Viburnum rafinesquianum)

    Also known as:

    Downy arrowwood, Downy arrowwood viburnum. Missouri viburnum
    Downy arrowwood is a little known native viburnum that has ornamental characteristics similar to the more commonly planted southern arrowwood.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Downy hawthorn (Crataegus mollis)

    Also known as:

    downy hawthorn
    Downy hawthorn has the typical white flowers and red fruit of hawthorns, but is not always as thorny as other species. This native tree is beautiful, but is prone to the cedar rust diseases.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)

    Also known as:

    downy serviceberry, juneberry, serviceberry
    Downy serviceberry is a four-season plant offering white flowers in spring, small red berries in summer, excellent fall color and gray bark in winter. The fruit is usually eaten very quickly by birds.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia durior)

    Also known as:

    Dutchman's pipe, pipevine
    Dutchman's pipe is a vigorous twining vine that serves as a food source for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly and its caterpillars. Also known as Aristolochia macrophylla.

    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:

    • North America
  • Dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata)

    Also known as:

    dwarf crested iris, crested iris,
    When someone says "ground cover", iris is not usually the plant that jumps to mind. Dwarf crested iris does make a good ground cover. It grows only 6 or 7 inches tall and forms a dense mat.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Dwarf dogwood (Cornus pumila)

    Also known as:

    Dwarf dogwood, dwarf red-tipped dogwood, dwarf redtwig dogwood
    Dwarf dogwood, also known as red-tipped dogwood, is a small compact, mounded shrub reaching 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. New leaves emerge purplish-red leaf and leaf tips remain red as the rest of leaf matures to green. In late spring, abundant clusters of slightly fragrant flowers attract butterflies. The mature black fruit are a favorite of birds. Use in a group or as a low hedge.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii)

    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
  • Dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria)

    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. It's 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
  • Early Forsythia (Forsythia ovata)

    Also known as:

    Early forsythia, Korean forsythia
    Early forsythia is a harbinger of spring when bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers lighten the spring landscape long before other plants are awake. Shrubs reach 4 to 6 feet high and wide with a dense, erect habit and slightly arching canes.

    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
  • Early spirea (Spiraea thunbergii)

    Also known as:

    Early spirea, Thunberg spirea, Thunberg's meadowsweet
    Early spirea or Thunberg spirea is one of the first spireas to flower in early spring. The 3- to 5-feet-high shrub starts out with lovely white umbel-shaped flowers, followed by fine-textured, light green foliage that eventually changes to a bronzy-orange fall color. Great plant for accent or used in a shrub border.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

    Also known as:

    Eastern arborvitae, Northern white cedar, Eastern white cedar, American arborvitae
    The eastern arborvitae is an extremely common evergreen tree or shrub, used often as a specimen, in hedges, or for privacy. The small cones open up to look like small flowers and appeal to birds. There are many cultivars that vary in height and other characteristics. On some varieties, the foliage may discolor in winter.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet),
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • Compact tree (10-15 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
  • Eastern blue star (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

    Also known as:

    Eastern blue star, eastern bluestar, willow amsonia, blue dogbane, blue stars
    Eastern blue star is a long-lived, interesting perennial native to central United States. Erect clumps of deep green, willow-like leaves add structure to the garden, steel blue star-shaped clusters open in late spring and foliage turns a beautiful golden yellow in the fall.

    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:

    • North America

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