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TREES & Plants

Tree and plant descriptions

  • Amur maple

    Acer ginnala
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Once widely used in gardens and landscapes, Amur maple is now considered invasive and it is not recommended for planting.
  • Angelica tree

    Aralia elata
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: This unusual plant is hard to define. It grows tall enough in the wild to be a tree, but is often a large shrub in landscapes. Large clusters of tiny white flowers appear in late summer followed by small, black fruit. Stems are thorny. Angelica tree has become invasive in a few areas.
  • Anglo-Japanese yew

    Taxus x media
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: This name covers a number of very popular hybrids between English and Japanese yew species that have many purposes in the landscape. These shrubs often are used as specimens, foundation plants, in groups, or sheared as a hedge.
  • Apple serviceberry

    Amelanchier x grandiflora
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Apple serviceberry is a wonderful four-season tree with white flowers in the spring, blue-green leaves that turn red in the fall, blue-black edible berries, and smooth silver-gray bark. Excellent for a woodland garden, naturalized setting, or as a specimen plant in a garden.
  • Austrian pine

    Pinus nigra
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Austrian pine has been used widely for a number of years. Due to disease and insect problems it is generally not recommended at this time.
  • Bald-cypress

    Taxodium distichum
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: This stately conifer, native to the Midwest, often is found in groupings in parks and larger spaces, along streets, and around lakes. Unlike most cone-bearing trees, bald-cypress loses its needles each winter and grows a new set in spring.
  • Bayberry

    Myrica pensylvanica
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: A pleasantly aromatic shrub, Bayberry can used in a shrub border, in mass, or informal foundation planting. The loose, open habit, small, waxy, persistent, gray fruit add winter interest and attract many species of birds.
  • Beauty Bush

    Kolkwitzia amabilis
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Beauty Bush lives up to its name in spring when it is covered with pink flowers. During the rest of the season it offers little in the way of ornamental appeal and best planted at the back of a border.
  • Big-leaved hydrangea

    Hydrangea macrophylla
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Big-leaved hydrangeas are beloved for their showy flowers. However, these small shrubs from Japan are generally not hardy as far north as Chicago. Cold winters in Zone 5 and colder usually kill their flower buds, which are set on the previous year's growth in most selections. In recent years, some cultivated varieties have been developed that are somewhat hardier, although they will do better in areas where they have the insulating protecting of reliable snow cover. Blue flowers are one of the plant's appeals, but big-leaved hydrangeas only have blue flowers when planted in acid soils. In alkaline soils, such as those in most of the Chicago region and the Great Plains, the flowers will be pink.
  • Bitternut Hickory

    Carya cordiformis
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Bitternut Hickory is a large north American native tree, best reserved for larger landscapes.