The Morton Arboretum logo

TREES & plants

Tree and plant descriptions

  • Common lilac

    Syringa vulgaris
    The common lilac is an old-fashioned, long-lived, and well-loved lilac best known for its fragrant flowers. It is extremely hardy and thrives with little care which make it a lovely shrub for a specimen planting, in masses, screens, hedges, or mixed in shrub borders.
  • Common Milkweed

    Asclepias syriaca
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Common milkweed is a butterfly magnet and an important plant for the monarch butterfly eggs and larvae. This aggressive spreader reaches 3 to 5 feet tall and will grow in thickets, woodland borders, fields, fence rows, and areas along railroads and roadsides.
  • Common ninebark

    Physocarpus opulifolius
    Ninebark is a cold hardy, tough native shrub for mixed borders. Pinkish-white flower clusters in late spring, persistent seed capsules and exfoliating bark add to seasonal interest. Foliage of cultivars vary in size and color from purple to lime green.
  • Common reed (Not recommended)

    Phragmites australis
    Common reed is an aggressive grass that is considered invasive in many areas.
  • Common winterberry

    Ilex verticillata
    The bright red persistent fruits of common winterberry glow in the winter landscape. This deciduous species of holly, native to the Northeastern US and Canada, is a dense, multi-branched shrub. The summer foliage is glossy dark green turning yellow in fall. An excellent choice for wet sites, naturalized area or in the shrub border. Both male and female plants are needed for fruit.
  • Common witch-hazel

    Hamamelis virginiana
    The yellow, strap-like flowers of this native shrub are among the last blooms to appear in fall, but are often hidden by the leaves. Common witch-hazel is a large shrub with a picturesque irregular branching habit that naturally grows along woodland edges. The large, rounded, dark green leaves often hang onto the winter branches. The fruit capsules mature a year after flowering, splitting open to expel seeds that are attractive to birds. Tolerant of road salt and clay soil, this is a great specimen plant, or for naturalized landscape.
  • Coralberry

    Symphoricarpos orbiculatus
    Coralberry is a low-growing shrub with arching stems that produces purplish red fruit providing a food source for several species of bird. This shrub is native to Eastern U.S. into TX.
  • Cornelian-cherry dogwood

    Cornus mas
    Cornelian-cherry dogwood is a small, 20 to 25 feet high tree or large shrub that thrives in well-drained urban conditions as a specimen plant, in masses, near a patio, or as a hedge. The tree is native to Europe and Asia.
  • Crabapple cultivars

    Malus
    Crabapples are a varied and diverse group. They include a number of species, hybrids, and cultivated varieties (cultivars). The mature size of the plant should be considered in your selection, as should the cultivar's disease resistance in relationship to its site (dry versus wet, for example).
  • Cranberry cotoneaster

    Cotoneaster apiculata
    The stiff, arching branches of the cranberry cotoneaster form an impenetrable mass, making it very effective cascading over a wall, in a shrub border, as a foundation plant, or a ground cover. Small, dark green, glossy leaves and cranberry-red fruit make it a nice addition to the landscape.