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TREES & plants

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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica )

    Also known as: Fragrant Sumac, Aromatic Sumac

    Fragrant sumac is a low growing shrub forming a thick, dense mass of stems. Use as a ground cover, in mass, and an excellent shrub for stabilizing banks and slopes. The glossy, blue-green leaves emit a lemon scent when crushed, and turn a mixture of red, burgundy, purple in the fall.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Fragrant viburnum (Viburnum farreri)

    Also known as: Fragrant viburnum

    Fragrant viburnum is an old-fashioned shrub grown for its highly sweet, pinkish-white flowers in early spring. The 4-inch long leaves emerge bronzy-green changing to dark green. Fall color is a reddish purple. Plants tend to be leggy and best in a mixed borer where smaller plants can mask the bare stems.

    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

  • Freeman's maple (Acer freemanii)

    Also known as: Freeman's maple, Freeman maple

    This sturdy hybrid is very common in this region, often serving as a parkway or street tree. It has a brilliant, red-orange color in the fall. Freeman's maple is a hybrid of the red maple and silver maple; the cross yields both the strong branch attachment of the red maple and fast growth rate of the silver maple. Freeman's maple is also less susceptible to chlorosis symptoms than the red or silver maples.

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

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

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

  • Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus)

    Also known as: fringe tree, fringetree, old man's beard, white fringetree

    Fringe tree grows as either a wide-spreading, multi-stemmed shrub or a small tree useful in native woodland gardens, as a specimen plant in groups, borders, or near large buildings. The fringe tree's most outstanding feature is the fragrant, strap-like, white flowers that are borne in six to eight-inch long fleecy panicles in late May to early June.

    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: 
    • North America

  • Frontier elm (Ulmus 'Frontier')

    Also known as: Frontier elm

    The Frontier elm has good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and elm yellows and moderate resistance to elm leaf beetle. This hardy, tolerant tree is a good choice for residential landscapes and along city streets.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum)

    Also known as: fullmoon maple, full-moon maple, downy Japanese maple

    Fullmoon maple is very similar in appearance to the true Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). It varies in size by cultivar and can be a large shrub or a small tree. The divided foliage, small, dangling purple flowers and fall color make this a multi-season tree.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Garden serviceberry (Amelanchier ovalis)

    Also known as: Garden serviceberry, snowy mespilus

    Garden serviceberry, also known as snowy mespilus is a European native. The upright, erect, multi-stemmed shrub is found on limestone outcrops and in rocky woods. The white spring flowers and edible blue berries attract birds and wildlife. This plant 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

  • Georgia bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla rivularis)

    Also known as: Georgia bush-honeysuckle, Georgia bush honeysuckle, mountain bush honeysuckle, hairy bush-honeysuckle, riverbank bush honeysuckle

    Georgia bush-honeysuckle, also called mountain bush-honeysuckle is a fast growing, eastern U.S. native found in the southern Appalachian Mountains in moist wooded areas and woodland edges. The mounding habit and arching stems produce small clusters of yellow trumpet blooms in July and August. New growth emerges with a bronze-red foliage, which later turns green then to a lovely red in the fall. Adapts to most soils and is drought tolerant when established.

    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: 
    • North America

  • Giant arborvitae (Thuja plicata )

    Also known as: giant arborvitae, western arborvitae

    Giant arborvitae is a dense, stately evergreen tree native to the Pacific Northwest, often used as a specimen or for screening. The fresh green foliage consists of flat sprays formed by overlapping scales. The tree supplies seeds and shelter for birds but is less appealing to deer. There are many cultivars that vary in height and other characteristics. On some varieties, the foliage changes color 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), 
    • 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: 
    • North America

  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

    Also known as: ginkgo, maidenhair tree

    Ginkgo is a very pest-resistant tree. It has interesting, fan-shaped leaves that turn vivid yellow in fall. Only male trees should be purchased as the females produce messy fruit that have a potent odor.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Goat Willow (Salix caprea)

    Also known as: Goat Willow, Pussy willow

    Goat willow is a small compact tree or large shrub with attractive long male catkins appearing before the leaves in early spring.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • Golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

    Also known as: Golden rain tree, panicled goledn rain tree, varnish tree, pride of India

    Golden rain tree is known for its sprays of yellow flowers in summer. The flowers are followed by fruit that are air-filled capsules resembling Japanese lanterns. These fruit change from green to yellow to a fleshy, almost pink color. Because it readily self-sows, it has become a problem in some locations.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Golden St. John's Wort (Hypericum frondosum)

    Also known as: Golden St John's Wort, Golden Saint John's wort

    Golden St. John's Wort puts on an explosive display of bright yellow flowers in mid-summer that lasts for 3 to 4 weeks. This shrubby, round shrub has stiff, upright branching, blue-green narrow foliage that turns reddish purple in the fall. The exfoliating bark and persistent seed capsules add winter interest to 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: 
    • North America

  • Golden weeping willow (Salix alba 'Tristis')

    Also known as: golden weeping willow

    Golden weeping willow is so named for its brilliant yellow twigs and graceful, drooping form. Like all willows, this cultivar is very tolerant of wet sites; it is also highly susceptible to 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: 
    • Non-native

  • Goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii)

    Also known as: Goldflame honeysuckle, Goldflame honeysuckle vine

    This twining vine twists and spirals around a supporting plant, trellis, or arbor. In summer, goldflame honeysuckle has clusters of fragrant tubular flowers in vibrant pink and yellow that bloom amid the vines. Unlike some species of honeysuckle, it is not invasive.

    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

  • Gray birch (Betula populifolia )

    Also known as: gray birch, white birch, poplar birch

    Gray birch is a narrow, pyramidal tree of cool climates. Bright green leaves turn a yellow fall color. Older trees develop a chalky white bark that does not peel. A good selection for poor soils and other difficult sites, it also demonstrates some resistance to bronze birch borer (BBB).

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

    Also known as: Gray dogwood, Panicled dogwood

    Gray dogwood is a very adaptable, native shrub that is excellent for naturalizing, especially in difficult sites, such as pond and stream banks. Although its suckering, spreading habit makes it impractical for formal plantings, it can be incorporated into the shrub border and useful as a mass planting. Creamy white clusters of flowers in May are followed by white berries in late summer that are quickly eaten by birds.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Green ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

    Also known as: green ash, red ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), green ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Green ash is a highly adaptable native tree; very cold hardy and tolerant of a wide range of soil pH and moisture levels. 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

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