TREES & plants

Tree and plant descriptions

  • Alaska cedar

    Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Alaska cedar in an interesting medium-sized evergreen tree with gray-green to blue-green foliage that droops from widely spaced branches. Native to moist bottomlands in the Pacific Northwest, it needs consistently moist soil. This plant is also known as false cypress.
  • Allegheny serviceberry

    Amelanchier laevis
    Allegheny serviceberry is a small native understory tree with four-season interest. The early white spring flowers, outstanding orange-red fall color, and striking gray bark make it a lovely specimen for any landscape. The edible black fruit in late summer is attractive to many birds.
  • American basswood

    Tilia americana
    American basswood is native to the Chicago area and is often used as a specimen or dense shade tree. Its heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers in June make it especially attractive for people, while songbirds and blue jays are attracted to its seeds and use the tree for shelter.
  • American bittersweet

    Celastrus scandens
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: American bittersweet is a climbing vine that twines around its support. Its attractive feature is its autumn fruit, a yellow-orange three-lobed capsule with showy red seeds. For fruit, American bittersweet needs both male and female vines and should be should be sited in full sun and pruned in early spring. Do not confuse this vine with Oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus, an invasive plant.
  • American bladdernut

    Staphylea trifolia
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: American bladdernut is a large, native understory shrub or compact tree, often forming thickets in undisturbed landscapes. Beautiful clusters of drooping, tubular white flowers appear in early spring, followed by unusual bladder-like seed pods, which are persistent long into the winter months. A great plant for naturalizing or shady woodlands.
  • American cranberry-bush

    Viburnum opulus var. americanum (syn. Viburnum trilobum)
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: This native viburnum offers ornamental interest throughout the seasons; flowers in spring, red fruit in late summer and red fall color.
  • American elm

    Ulmus americana
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Elms are loved for their graceful, stately shape, with branches like spreading fountains, and their green leaves that turn gold in fall. Sadly, the American elm can no longer be recommended because it is vulnerable to a devastating pathogen called Dutch elm disease.
  • American hazelnut

    Corylus americana
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: American hazelnut, a medium to large-sized suckering shrub, is best used for naturalization. Whether planted in full sun or full shade, this Chicago-area native shrub is a great addition to the Midwestern landscape.
  • American hornbeam

    Carpinus caroliniana
    The American hornbeam is a native forest understory tree in the Chicago area, making it useful for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens. New leaves emerge reddish-purple, changing to dark green, then turn yellow to orange-red in the fall, offering a kaleidoscope of color throughout the year.
  • Amur cherry

    Prunus maackii
    Amur cherry is an ornamental tree native to Manchuria, Siberia, and Korea. It has beautiful amber to reddish-brown flaking bark; clusters of fragrant, white hanging flowers in spring; and red maturing to black fruit.