Browse Trees and Plants

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  • Indigo-bush (Amorpha fruticosa)

    Leaves and fruit of indigo-bush.

    Also known as:

    indigo-bush; indigobush; false-indigo; desert indigo-bush; indigo bush amorpha; bastard indigo
    Indigo-bush is a medium to large, finely textured, native shrub for wet to dry soils. The 1-foot long, compound leaves are a gray-green. The long-blooming, showy, 3 to 6-inch long, upright flower spikes are royal purple with yellow -orange anthers. A cousin of the shorter prairie lead plant. Plants may be short-lived.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Inkberry (Ilex glabra)

    Leaves of inkberry.

    Also known as:

    Inkberry, Gallberry
    Inkberry holly is a colony-forming, east coast native shrub for low, wet sites. Can be used as a foundation planting, hedge or in mass. Prefers acidic soils. The flowers are not showy, but the black fruits can be seen well into winter. Hollies have separate male and female plants, requires a male plant to pollinate the female plant so it can produce fruits.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 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
  • Inland shadbush (Amelanchier interior)

    Leaves and fruit of inland shadbush.

    Also known as:

    inland shadbush
    Inland shadbush is related to serviceberry and offers similar ornamental features (white flowers, small red berries, excellent fall color). This species may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • Compact tree (10-15 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
  • Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)

    Fall color of ironwood.

    Also known as:

    ironwood, American hophornbeam, eastern hophornbeam, hop-hornbeam
    Ironwood is a tough understory tree with beautiful birch-like leaves, grayish-brown flaky bark, fine-textured drooping branches, and attractive hop-like fruits. Ironwood is considered one of Illinois' toughest native hardwoods and is not only ornamental but resistant to many disease and insect problems. Excellent tree for naturalized landscapes.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Italian Clematis (Clematis viticella)

    Betty Corning, a viticella hybrid, in flower.

    Also known as:

    Italian clematis
    Italian clematis is a species of clematis with purple or violet flowers that are shaped like hanging bells.

    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
  • Jack pine (Pinus banksiana)

    Jack pine cones.

    Also known as:

    jack pine
    Jack pine is very hardy and well suited to northern climates. It can be used in windbreaks, although it is susceptible to ice storm damage and may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

    Jack-in-the-pulpit in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Jack-in-the-pulpit, Indian Turnip
    Jack-in-the-pulpit is a common native wildflower found in deciduous, moist shady woodlands growing 1 to 2 feet tall. The unusual looking flower is a 4-7 inch spathe (pulpit) that folds over the spadix (Jack) creating a protective hood. A great addition to the woodland wildflower garden.

    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
  • Jackman's clematis and the Jackman group of hybrids (Clematis x jackmanii)

    Large purple flowers of 'The President', a jackman hybrid.

    Also known as:

    Jackman's clematis
    Jackman's clematis is a very old and well known clematis with large, dark purple flowers. It is the picture that comes to mind when the word clematis is spoken. There are a number of hybrids derived from this species and they are known as the Jackman group or the Jackman hybrids. These hybrids generally have large flowers.

    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
  • Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis (syn. Anemone hupehensis var. japonica))

    Flowers of Japanese anemone, cultivar September Charm.

    Also known as:

    Japanese anemone, hybrid anemone, windflower
    Japanese anemone and related hybrids are late summer and fall blooming perennials. Bold mounds of leaves with upright, airy stems reach 2 to 3 feet high, each with two-and-a-half-inch wide circular flowers in white, pink, or mauve. Flowers can be single, double or semi-double and add great late season color to any garden.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

    Flowers and leaves of Japanese barberry.

    Also known as:

    Japanese barberry, barberry

    A common sight in yards and gardens throughout eastern North America, this Asian shrub is invasive and should not be planted. Growing three to six feet tall, it is most easily identified by its small, rounded leaves, spiny stems, and red berries that develop in summer. Birds and rodents eat the fruits and distribute the seeds widely. Its branches form roots when in contact with the soil.

    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
  • Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii)

    Branches of Japanese black pine.

    Also known as:

    Japanese black pine
    Japanese black pine has a striking, irregular form accented by its dark, lustrous green needles. This Asian native is very tolerant of salt spray and soil salt, but It may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese cornel (Cornus officinalis)

    Japanese cornel flowering in early spring.

    Also known as:

    Japanese cornel, Japanese cornelian-cherry, Asian dogwood
    Japanese cornel is very similar to the popular cornelian-cherry dogwood (Cornus mas). It has the same bright yellow flowers in early spring, followed by oblong cherry-red fruits. Flowering occurs slightly earlier on this species and the form is more open. It can be grown as a large shrub or small tree.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese flowering cherry (Prunus serrulata)

    Also known as:

    Japanese flowering cherry
    Japanese flowering cherry is an Asian species known more for its cultivars. The actual species is seldom sold. The cultivars produce showy flowers in spring and some good leaf color in autumn.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese flowering crabapple (Malus floribunda)

    Crabapple flowers.

    Also known as:

    Japanese flowering crabapple
    A small ornamental tree known for its showy, bright pink buds that open to fragrant white flowers. Japanese flowering crabapple has an irregular, spreading branch habit as it ages, showy, persistent yellow-red fruits, and good disease resistance. Use as a specimen tree, in small groups, or a mixed border.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese flowering quince (Chaenomeles japonica)

    Flowers of Japanese flowering quince.

    Also known as:

    Japanese flowering quince, flowering quince
    Japanese flowering quince is a low-growing, spring-flowering shrub with dark green shiny leaves. Growth habit changes with cultivars often reaching 3 to 4 feet high. Bright orange-scarlet flowers appear after the leaves emerge. Most stems have thorns, so avoid planting near sidewalk and heavy traffic areas.

    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
  • Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra)

    Japanese hakone grass used as a ground cover.

    Also known as:

    Japanese forest grass, hakone grass, hakonechloa grass
    Japanese forest grass is a low-growing grass that can be planted close together to form a ground cover. There are some interesting cultivars that provide color in the landscape.

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese garden juniper (Juniperus procumbens)

    Japanese garden juniper has a low-growing habit.

    Also known as:

    Japanese garden juniper
    Japanese garden juniper is a low-growing, ground-hugging evergreen reaching 6 to 12 inches high and eventually spreading 4 to 6 feet wide. Excellent as a ground cover, used to stabilize slopes or cascading over low walls. The blue-green foliage turns a slight purple in the winter.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese honeysuckle (Illegal to sell in Illinois) (Lonicera japonica)

    The white flowers of Japanese honeysuckle turn yellow as they age.

    Also known as:

    Japanese honeysuckle
    Japanese honeysuckle is an attractive plant, but under the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, it cannot be sold in Illinois. It is also considered invasive in many areas.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
    • 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
  • Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides)

    Leaves of Japanese hydrangea vine, cultivar 'Moonlight'.

    Also known as:

    Japanese hydrangea vine
    Japanese hydrangea vine is an excellent vine for wood or stone fences, walls, and arbors. It attaches to hard surfaces by root-like holdfasts. Cinnamon-brown bark and large, white lace cap flowers in late June add to the beauty of this climbing vine.

    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
  • Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica)

    A Japanese kerria shrub.

    Also known as:

    Japanese Kerria
    Japanese kerria is a lovely 4 to 6 feet high shrub with upright to finely textured arching stems. Plants are especially attractive when abundant bright yellow flowers open in the spring. The bright green, arched stems add winter interest in a naturalized garden and makes an excellent choice for perennial shade borders. In recent years a stem blight disease has made this plant difficult to find in 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:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi)

    Branch of Japanese larch laden with cones.

    Also known as:

    Japanese larch
    Japanese larch is a sun-loving, deciduous conifer native to Japan. The 70-foot-high pyramidal tree has slender, pendulous branches, and clusters of bright green needles that turn a golden yellow in the fall before dropping.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese magnolia (Magnolia kobus)

    Spring flowers of Japanese magnolia.

    Also known as:

    Japanese magnolia, kobus magnolia, kobushi magnolia
    Japanese magnolia or Kobus magnolia is a medium-sized tree native to the forests of Japan. The early spring, goblet-shaped, slightly fragrant, white flowers are tinged with pink. In late fall clustered seed pods split open to reveal red seeds. Seeds are attractive to birds.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)

    Japanese maple tree in fall color.

    Also known as:

    Japanese maple
    Varying in size from large shrub to small tree, Japanese maple is a species with many variations. Many cultivars are available with different characteristics such as finely dissected leaves and weeping branches. Not all cultivars are fully hardy in zone 5 and may need protection in winter.

    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:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)

    Japanese pachysandra in flower.

    Also known as:

    Japanese pachysandra, Japanese spurge, pachysandra
    Japanese pachysandra is an evergreen ground cover that is commonly used in shady sites. It produces clusters of small white flowers in spring.

    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
  • Japanese scholar tree (Sophora japonica)

    Pagoda tree has glossy compound foliage.

    Also known as:

    Japanese pagoda tree, scholar-tree, scholar tree, Chinese scholar tree
    Japanese scholar tree is an interesting member of the pea family. In summer, the tree produces clusters of creamy white flowers that have a mild fragrance. The "pea pods" that follow the flowers are unusual in that they are constricted between each seed, giving the fruit the appearance of a string of beads. Despite its name, this tree is really native to China. Also known as Styphnolobium japonicum.

    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
  • Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus floridulus)

    Specimen plant of Japanese silver grass.

    Also known as:

    Japanese silver grass, giant miscanthus, Pacific island silver grass, sawgrass, swordgrass, tupon nette
    Japanese silver grass, is also referred to as giant miscanthus to separate it from the smaller species of miscanthus that is commonly found in gardens. Giant miscanthus can grow up to 14 feet tall and can be overwhelming in smaller gardens. It is a warm season, clumping grass. Borderine hardy in zone 5.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese spikenard (Araila cordata)

    Flowers and leaves of Sun King Japanese spikenard.

    Also known as:

    Japanese spikenard, mountain asparagus, udo, herbal aralia
    Japanese spikenard is a large, clump-forming perennial with huge clusters of white flowers, massive compound leaves, and showy black berries. A excellent late-summer plant for back of the border, a shade garden, and naturalizing.

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica (syn. Spiraea x bumalda))

    Specimen plant of Japanese spirea, cultivar 'Goldflame'.

    Also known as:

    Japanese spirea
    Japanese spirea is a favorite of many gardeners, offering a wide range of sizes and cultivars. The dense, compact habit, large clusters of late spring and summer flowers in pink or white, with excellent fall color provides many seasons of care-free enjoyment in the landscape.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata subsp. reticulata)

    Japanese tree lilac in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Japanese tree lilac
    Japanese tree lilac is larger than the shrub lilacs and it blooms a little later. It produces large clusters of small creamy-white, fragrant flowers.

    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
  • Japanese umbrella-pine (Sciadopitys verticillata)

    Needles of Japanese umbrella-pine.

    Also known as:

    Japanese umbrella-pine, umbrella-pine
    Japanese umbrella-pine is not a true pine, but it is a needled evergreen. In northern Illinois, this tree is marginal and should be planted in protected site. Wind can be a problem in winter, so avoid windy sites.

    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

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