TREES & Plants

Tree and plant descriptions

  • Big-leaved Linden

    Tilia platyphyllos
    Plant advice from The Morton Arboretum: Like other lindens, big-leaved linden produces clusters of very fragrant flowers in early summer. It has an attractive form and can be used as a street tree.
  • 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 shady 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 Oak

    Quercus velutina
    Plant Advice from The Morton Arboretum: Black Oak, a native of the Chicago region, could be used as a parkway or street tree. Fall color is yellow to yellow-brown. This species is not offered in commerce as often as other oak species.
  • 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.