TREES & plants

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  • English oak (Quercus robur)

    Also known as: English oak, truffle oak, pedunculate oak

    English oak is a long-lived oak with a broadly rounded to spreading habit with a short trunk. It is an excellent specimen tree or can be planted in a grouping in large open landscapes. The acorns form a valuable food source for several small mammals and some birds but trees may take up to 20 years to produce fruit.

    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

  • Eurasian smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria)

    Also known as: Eurasian smoke tree, Smoke tree, Smoke bush, Smoketree, Smokebush

    The outstanding feature of Eurasian smoke tree is the large, airy, plume-like stalks that hold the small flowers. These are covered with hairs that provide the appearance of a puff of smoke.

    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

  • European ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus excelsior)

    Also known as: European ash, common ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), European ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. European ash is a large shade tree found throughout Europe which is hardy to the Midwest. 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)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European beech (Fagus sylvatica)

    Also known as: European beech, Common beech

    European beech is a large, graceful tree appropriate for large landscapes like parks and golf courses. This species has smooth silvery gray bark, short trunks and a low branching habit.

    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

  • European black alder (Not recommended) (Alnus glutinosa)

    Also known as: European black alder, European alder, Common alder

    European black alder has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree 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 tree for planting sites.

    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

  • European cranberry-bush viburnum (not recommended) (Viburnum opulus var. opulus (syn. Viburnum opulus))

    Also known as: European cranberry-bush, European cranberry-bush viburnum, European cranberrybush viburnum

    European cranberry-bush viburnum is an attractive, multi-season interest shrub, but it has become an invasive plant in some states and is not recommended. The similar, native American cranberry-bush viburnum (Vibrunum opulus var. americanum) is a more recommended substitute. It has the same ornamental features and is native to North America.

    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

  • European elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

    Also known as: European elderberry, Common elderberry

    European elderberry is a large, multi-stemmed, rounded shrub. Plants are colony-forming and best used for naturalizing in moist to wet landscapes. The flap-topped, white,fragrant flowers appear in early summer, followed by clusters of purple fruit in mid-to-late summer.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum)

    Also known as: European fly honeysuckle

    European Fly Honeysuckle is a large rounded shrub with arching branches and blue-to-gray green foliage. A popular, old-fashioned shrub used for hedges and screening.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European hazelnut (Corylus avellana)

    Also known as: European hazelnut, European filbert, European hazel, filbert, giant filbert, hazelnut, cobnut

    European hazelnut is often grown as a large shrub, but it can also be used as a small tree. This species produces edible hazelnuts or filberts.

    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

  • European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus )

    Also known as: European hornbeam, upright hornbeam, common hornbeam

    European hornbeams are excellent in groupings around large buildings and also useful as screens, hedges, and windbreak trees. The European hornbeam has densely textured foliage and handsome, slate-gray smooth to fluted bark. The dark green leaves turn an attractive yellow in the fall, and the bark and buds are ornamental in winter.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European larch (Larix decidua)

    Also known as: European larch, common larch

    European larch is a great choice for specimen plantings or in groups for parks and large areas. Unlike most conifers, it drops its needles in winter. Bright green foliage in spring changes to medium green throughout summer, turning a golden yellow in fall before falling.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)

    Also known as: European Mountain Ash, Rowan,Rowantree, Common Mountainash

    European mountain ash, or Rowan tree, is a small, 20 to 40 feet tall with white, flat-topped flowers, smooth gray bark, and clusters of bright red, persistent fruits. Native to cooler climates of Europe and Asia, often prone to many insect and disease problems when grown in warm climates. May be difficult to find in nursery trade.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

    Also known as: European privet, Wild privet, English privet, Primwort

    Common or European privet is a wide spreading shrub often used as a hedge or for screening unwanted views, reaching 10 to 12 feet high and wide. Clusters of fragrant white flowers in mid-June are followed by blue-black berries. This plant is considered invasive by Midwest Invasive Plant Network and should be used cautiously.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European white alder (Alnus incana)

    Also known as: European white alder, white alder, gray alder

    European white alder is a fast-growing tree that may be considered as a street tree. Early spring flowers are interesting, but not really showy. This tree may be difficult to find in local nurseries.

    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

  • European white birch (Not recommended) (Betula pendula)

    Also known as: European white birch, silver birch, warty birch, weeping birch

    Due to susceptibility to bronze birch borer (BBB), European white birch is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. This tree has an attractive pendulous habit. European white birch was once used extensively in landscapes, but its high susceptibility to the bronze birch borer has limited its use in more recent years.

    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

  • European wild-ginger (Asarum europaeum)

    Also known as: European wild-ginger, European wild ginger

    European wild-ginger is a colonizing ground cover that looks similar to the native species, except for having smooth rather than hairy leaves.

    Size Range: 
    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • EXCLAMATION!™ London planetree (Platanus acerifolia 'Morton Circle')

    Also known as: EXCLAMATION!™ London planetree

    The EXCLAMATION!™ London planetree is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction that is resistant to anthracnose and frost cracking. It is a large tree with beautiful peeling bark.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Fall Bugbane (Actaea simplex)

    Also known as: Fall bugbane, Kamchatka bugbane

    Fall bugbane is a late blooming perennial with mounds of lacy, shiny leaves that send up 4 to 5 foot high flower spikes of fragrant, white flowers. A great plant for shady moist sites.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • False-Spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)

    Also known as: False-Spirea, False spirea, Ash-leaf spirea, Ural false spirea

    False-spirea is a dense, colony-forming, suckering shrub best used for naturalizing, erosion control. Large, showy clusters of tiny white flowers appear in mid-summer. The large compound leaves open on arching stems, unfolding with a reddish tinge gradually changing to a deep green. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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

  • Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora)

    Also known as: Feather reed grass

    Feather reed grass is a hybrid of non-native grasses. It is a cool season grass that offers a very narrow, upright habit and interest in winter. It is a clumping grass.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • February daphne (Daphne mezereum)

    Also known as: February daphne; mezereon; paradise-plant, spurge laurel, garland flower

    February daphne is a dense, rounded shrub with highly fragrant rosy-lilac flowers in early spring. Small red fruit appear later in the summer. A plant for well-drained soils only, may be short-lived.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)

    Also known as: firethorn; scarlet firethorn

    Firethorn is a semi-evergreen shrub with shiny leaves that remain long into winter, white spring flowers, and brilliant orange berries in the fall. Plants can be unruly if not pruned regularly.

    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

  • Five-leaved akebia (Akebia quinata)

    Also known as: Five-leaved akebia, chocolate vine

    Five-leaved akebia is a vigorous vine and may grow aggressively enough that it needs to be controlled. Akebia has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. 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: 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Florida Corkwood (Leitneria floridana)

    Also known as: Florida Corkwood, Corkwood

    Corkwood is a rare colony-forming shrub, occasionally tree, found in wet areas along the coast of Florida and Texas. The elliptical leaves are leathery and remain late into the fall. An interesting choice for wet areas. May be difficult to find in the nursery trade.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 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: 
    • North America

  • Flowering almond (Prunus triloba)

    Also known as: Flowering almond, flowering plum, rose tree of China

    Flowering almond is a large shrub or small tree with bright pink flowers. The double flowering form is more popular in the nursery trade.

    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

  • Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)

    Also known as: Flowering dogwood

    Flowering dogwood is a small to medium woodland understory tree, native throughout most of the eastern United States. Showy white, red or pink flowering bracts appear before the leaves in early spring. Dark green summer foliage turns a brilliant reddish purple in fall. It is sensitive to adverse soil and environmental conditions such as road salt and pollution.

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

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

  • Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

    Also known as: Fountain grass, hardy fountain grass

    Fountain grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides, is a non-native grass used for its mounded habit and brush-like flower spikes. There are different species of fountain grass. Some are hardy in the Chicago region and some are not. P. alopecuroides is hardy in the Chicago region and is sometimes referred to as hardy fountain grass.

    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

  • Fox Valley™ river birch (Betula nigra 'Little King')

    Also known as: Fox Valley™ river birch

    The Fox Valley™ river birch is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction that demonstrates resistance to bronze birch borer (BBB). It is a dense, compact tree with glossy green leaves and exfoliating bark.

    Size Range: 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet)

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

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

  • Foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum)

    Also known as: Foxtail barley, squirrel-tail grass

    Foxtail barley is a grass native to much of Illinois. This short grass tolerates a wide range of tough conditions. It should be used with care as it readily self-seeds and can become weedy.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Fragrant snowball (Viburnum x carlcephalum)

    Also known as: Fragrant snowball, Carlcephalum viburnum

    Fragrant snowball viburnum is a large, open shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high. It is one of the last of the very fragrant, snowball-shaped flowers to bloom in spring. The dark oval green leaves turn a beautiful reddish-purple in the fall.

    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

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