TREES & Plants

Tree and plant descriptions

  • Bitternut Hickory

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

    Alnus glutinosa

    This tree is invasive and should not be planted. Growing 40 to 60 feet tall, black alder is typically tall and narrow but sometimes pyramid-shaped. It can be identified by its large, glossy green, oval to round leaves with a toothed margin; dangling catkins, or long, bushy flowers, in early spring; and egg-shaped nutlets, somewhat resembling cones, in fall. Young leaves and shoots are often sticky from a resin. The seed are dispersed by wind and, if they fall on water, can be spread for long distances.

  • Black Chokeberry

    Aronia melanocarpa
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Black chokeberry is a dependable small to medium sized shrub with upright, mounded habit. Small clusters of white flowers in spring are followed by glossy black fruit. Dark green foliage turns reddish-purple in the fall.
  • Black jetbead

    Rhodotypos scandens
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Whether planted in sun, or heavy shade, the black jetbead will prosper, making it a great shrub for shade sites, as a specimen or border plant. Showy white flowers, crisp green foliage, and black fruit clusters make this shrub distinct throughout the growing season.
  • Black spruce

    Picea mariana
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Black spruce is a small, narrow evergreen tree with a spire-like crown. It has descending branches, with dark, bluish-green needles, and upturned ends. Lower limbs sweep the ground. It is an excellent choice for cold northern climates and tolerant of wet sites.
  • Black walnut

    Juglans nigra
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: The black walnut is a Chicago-area native tree that provides excellent shade for large properties. It needs to be sited with care, since the tree produces a chemical that is toxic to some other plants.
  • Black-haw

    Viburnum prunifolium
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Black-haw is a native viburnum that can be a large shrub or a small tree. It is a multi-season plant, offering white flowers in spring, and fruits and good color in autumn.
  • Blood-twigged dogwood

    Cornus sanguinea
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Blood-twigged dogwood is a medium-sized shrub, popular mainly for its straight stems and branches, which turn a mix of green and red in winter. It has flat-topped fluffy clusters of white flowers, more smelly than fragrant, in late summer, followed by small black fruit.
  • Blue spruce

    Picea pungens (syn. Picea pungens 'Glauca')
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Colorado spruce, also known as blue spruce is a conical-shaped evergreen tree with stiff horizontal branches and short stiff needles. A commonly used tree in Midwest landscapes. In nature the needles are often green, but many specimens produce blue-green needles.
  • Bluebeard

    Caryopteris x clandonensis
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: This mounded woody plant has cornflower-blue flowers in late summer and fragrant, silvery-green foliage. Though bluebeard is technically a shrub, it should be treated as a perennial in the Midwest because it tends to die back in harsh winters.