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TREES & plants

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  • Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus )

    Also known as: Kentucky coffeetree

    The Kentucky coffeetree's tolerance to pollution and a wide range of soils makes it a suitable tree for urban environments. Native to the Midwest, this tree bears leathery, reddish-brown seed pods that add winter interest to the Midwestern landscape.

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

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

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

  • Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya)

    Also known as: Kentucky wisteria, Kentucky wistaria

    Kentucky wisteria is native to parts of North America. This species produces hanging clusters of purple flowers. It is a good alternate to the Japanese and Chinese wisterias that have become invasive in some areas. Also known as Wistaria frutescens var. macrostachya.

    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: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Korean barberry (Berberis koreana)

    Also known as: Korean barberry

    Showy yellow flower clusters, reddish-purple fall color, and persistent egg-shaped red berries make Korean boxwood an attractive year-round shrub. May be difficult to locate in nursery trade. Barberry are also on some state lists as invasive.

    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

  • Korean Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. koreana)

    Also known as: Korean boxwood, Littleleaf boxwood

    Korean boxwood is a small, mounded, broadleaf evergreen shrub with small, glossy, light green leaves with a uniform formal habit.

    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

  • Korean mountain-ash (Sorbus alnifolia)

    Also known as: Korean mountain-ash, Korean mountainash

    Korean mountain-ash is a medium sized tree with interesting ornamental features. The tree flowers white in spring and the white flowers are followed by red fruit. Yellow fall color and gray bark complete the picture.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Korean reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha )

    Also known as: Korean reed grass, short-haired reed grass

    Korean reed grass is a warm season, clumping grass. This non-native grass provides multiple seasons of interest in the home landscape.

    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

  • Korean spice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii)

    Also known as: Korean spice viburnum, Koreanspice viburnum

    Korean spice viburnum's most notable characteristic is the intoxicating fragrant white flowers that cover the shrub in spring. The pink to red budded white flowers have a pink blush, leaves are a dull, dark green that turn outstanding wine-red in the fall. An excellent choice as specimen, in a shrub border, and as a foundation plant. Place it where the fragrant flowers can be enjoyed.

    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

  • Korean Spirea (Spiraea fritschiana)

    Also known as: Korean Spirea, Fritsch's Spirea

    Korean spirea, also known as Fritsch's spirea, is a compact, upright to mounded shrub with excellent clusters of white, flat-topped flowers and dark green summer foliage, which turns an orange-red fall color. This species is closely related to birchleaf spirea. It may be difficult to find in the nursery trade.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa )

    Also known as: Kousa dogwood

    Kousa dogwood is an excellent small specimen tree. Two of this plant's outstanding characteristics are four-petaled, white flowers that appear above the foliage in June and reddish-purple fall color. This tree benefits from a layer of mulch to maintain a cool root environment.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • Lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia)

    Also known as: Lacebark elm, Chinese elm

    Chinese or lacebark elm stands out from other elms. It has an unusual mottled bark, leaves that are smaller than those of other elm species and good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and elm leaf beetle.

    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

  • Lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana)

    Also known as: lacebark pine

    Lacebark pine has a very distinctive mottled bark that sets it apart from other pines.  Branches on this pine can be brittle and more prone to storm damage.

    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

  • Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina )

    Also known as: Lady fern

    Lady fern, with its finely cut leaves provides interesting texture to shady areas. It can also be used in sunny areas, but consistent watering is then required.

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

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

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

  • Large Fothergilla (Fothergilla major)

    Also known as: Large Fothergilla, Witch-Alder

    Large Fothergilla is a large, rounded shrub with excellent 4-season interest. Early flowering, honey-scented bottle brush-like flowers appear before the leaves, summer foliage is a clean, blue-green changing to outstanding shades of orange, red, and yellow fall color.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • Late Lilac (Syringa villosa)

    Also known as: Late lilac

    Late lilac is a large, dense, rounded shrub with erect, ascending branches. The large, rosy-lilac flowers appear in mid-June after other lilacs have finished. A showy shrub used as a specimen, in borders, or as a hedge.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Leadplant (Amorpha canescens )

    Also known as: Leadplant

    Leadplant is a upright, rounded shrub, native to the Midwest, that does well in dry sandy to clay soil; the attractive gray-green foliage adds nice contrast in rock gardens. The purplish-blue flower spikes in June and July serve as a host to caterpillars, as well as a nectar source for butterflies, and a food source for birds.

    Size Range: 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet), 
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

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

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

  • Leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)

    Also known as: Leatherleaf viburnum

    Leatherleaf viburnum is considered a large, rough textured, evergreen shrub, but in northern climates it will lose its leaves in late autumn and often suffers stem dieback in cold winters. While the creamy white flowers light up the spring landscape, this species offers no fall color change and very little fruiting.

    Size Range: 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Leatherwood (Dirca palustris )

    Also known as: Leatherwood, Eastern Leatherwood

    Leatherwood is an interesting, under-used native shrub with small yellow flowers in early spring before leaves emerge. Light green leaves turn a bright yellow color in autumn. This plant is difficult to find in commercial nurseries.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Lemoine's Deutzia (Deutzia lemoinei)

    Also known as: Lemoine's Deutzia, Lemoine Deutzia

    Lemoine's Deutzia is a mounded, densely twiggy shrub with erect branches. Outstanding pure white flower clusters appear in May . Medium green foliage turns a clear yellow in the fall. Use in groups, shrub borders and foundation plantings.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)

    Also known as: Lily-of-the-Valley, Lily of the Valley, Lady's tears

    Lily-of-the-valley is an old-fashioned, shade-loving ground cover reaching 6 to 8 inches tall. In mid-spring many bell-shaped, waxy white flowers appear on an erect stalk.

    Size Range: 
    • Small plant (6-12 inches), 
    • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Limber pine (Pinus flexilis)

    Also known as: limber pine

    This under-used pine, native to the western United States, is more tolerant of alkaline soils than the Eastern white pine. The dark blue green needles help this tree stand out in the landscape.

    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)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum)

    Also known as: Linden viburnum

    Linden viburnum is a multi-stemmed, upright to rounded shrub reaching 8 to 10 feet high and wide. Profuse clusters of white, flat-topped flowers are followed by showy red fruits often persisting into winter. Fall color can be a kaleidoscope of orange, red and yellow. A great four season plant for the shrub border. This species has demonstrated some invasive tendency in select states. Consult your local state invasive list.

    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

  • Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium (syn. Andropogon scoparius))

    Also known as: Little bluestem, prairie beard grass

    Little bluestem is a prairie grass native to Illinois. It is shorter than many prairie grasses, growing only 2 to 4 feet tall. It is prized for its small fluffy seed heads and good fall color.

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

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

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

  • Little-leaved linden (Tilia cordata)

    Also known as: little-leaved linden, littleleaf linden

    Little-leaved linden is a great shade tree for lawns or parkway plantings in urban settings due to its ability to withstand polluted environments. It has shiny dark green leaves that turn a clear yellow in fall, and in summer it has dangling, fragrant pale yellow flowers. This tree is prone to attack by Japanese beetles.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Loebner's magnolia (Magnolia loebneri)

    Also known as: Loebner's magnolia, Loebner magnolia

    This hybrid magnolia has excellent hardiness and a beautiful display of white flowers.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • London planetree (Platanus xacerifolia)

    Also known as: London planetree

    London planetree is a hybrid resulting from a cross between the native sycamore and the non-native Asian planetree. Like sycamore, this 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), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Madison White Satin™ birch (Betula 'Madison')

    Also known as: White Satin™ birch

    White Satin™ birch, a Chicagoland Grows® introduction, provides beautiful white bark and good resistance to the bronze birch borer (BBB). The hybrid offers good yellow fall color.

    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)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Magnolia (Magnolia)

    Also known as: Magnolia

    Magnolias are among the most beautiful and popular landscape plants. While their principal attraction is spectacular large flowers, magnolias also offer homeowners a variety of sizes, forms, and textures from smaller shrub-like plants to large specimen trees. Although there are a number of magnolias that have proven hardy in our area, only a handful of varieties are commonly planted.

  • Magnolia hybrids (Magnolia hybrids)

    Also known as: Hybrid magnolia,little girl hybrid magnolias, yellow flowered hybrid magnolias

    Magnolias are among the most beautiful and popular landscape plants. A number of hybrid magnolias have been developed to provide a wider range of sizes, shapes and floral characteristics. Some of the more common hybrids and their cultivars are presented here.

    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)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum)

    Also known as: Maidenhair Fern, Northern Maidenhair fern

    Maidenhair fern is a unique, airy fern with fan-shaped fronds growing around a horseshoe-shaped stem.

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

    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

  • Manchurian lilac (Syringa patula )

    Also known as: Manchurian lilac

    Manchurian lilac is known mainly for the cultivar 'Miss Kim'. Wonderfully fragrant lilac flowers that fade to light pink in spring. The ruffled foliage turns a purple-red fall color. More resistant to powdery mildew than other lilacs.

    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

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