The ACCOLADE™ elm is a Chicagoland Grows® selection that demonstrates very good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED), and elm leaf beetle. It is useful as a street, parkway, or shade tree. This elm has glossy green leaves and yellow fall color.
Alabama snow wreath is a colony-forming, upright, open shrub with exfoliating reddish-brown stems and clusters of white, fuzzy, bottle brush-like flowers. Native in the southeastern U. S. Unusual shrub and may be difficult to find in nurseries.
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 pachysandra is a semi-evergreen ground cover that is native to the Southeastern United States. It is less well known than the popular Japanese pachysandra, but serves much the same purpose in the landscape.
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 purplish-black fruit in late summer is attractive to many birds.
Alpine currant (Ribes alpinum) is a hardy, low mounded shrub commonly used as a hedge. Plants are tolerant of full sun to full shade. Very low maintenance with no ornamental appeal than its dense green foliage.
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 beech is a large, graceful native tree, excellent for large, park-like landscapes where it has room to spread its wide, low-growing branches. The massive trunk has beautiful silver gray bark; the dark green summer foliage turns a golden bronze in the fall. Leaves typically hang on well into the winter months adding to the seasonal interest.
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 orange-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. This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
American bladdernut is a large, native, under story 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.
The American chestnut was once the king of the forest. It was a magnificent tree used for lumber and for food. Then the chestnut blight came in and began to decimate this species in the early 1900s. The American chestnut is not extinct. It survives in the wild in the form of root systems and stump sprouts. There are also ongoing efforts to develop trees that are resistant to the disease.
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. For cultivars of American Elm that are resistant to Dutch elm disease, see below.
American hazelnut, American Filbert, American hazel
American hazelnut is a thicket-forming native shrub, excellent for naturalizing, woodland gardens and shade areas. Showy male flowers (catkins) add early spring interest, dark green leaves turn a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors in the fall. The nuts mature from September to October, attracting seed-eating birds, such as blue jays and woodpeckers.
American holly is a broad-leaved evergreen tree reaching 40 to 50 feet high, densely pyramidal in youth becoming more open and symmetrically conical with age. The dark green, elliptical leaves have several spiny teeth along the leaf margin. Plants grow best in low, acid pH soils in part shade. Avoid windy sites. Trees are either male or female and require several to get fruit production.
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.
American Sentry® linden, American Sentry® basswood
The American Sentry linden is reported to have some resistance to Japanese beetle. It is a dense shade tree with heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers; this cultivar is particularly symmetrical. This is a cultivated variety of a native plant.
American smoke tree, American smoketree, Chittamwood
American smoke tree (Cotinus obovatus; syn. Cotinus americanus) is a native of North America, but is little used in home landscapes. This small to medium tree produces the same 'smoke' (hairy fruit stalks) as it's Eurasian cousin, smoke bush and also offers excellent fall color.
American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens; syn. Wistaria frutescens) is a woody vine that produces beautiful hanging clusters of purple flowers. This species is native to North America. It is a good alternate to the Japanese and Chinese wisterias that have become invasive in some areas.
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.
Amur maackia is a compact, rounded tree for smaller landscapes. The compound leaves emerge silvery-green in spring changing to medium green in summer. White, spiky flowers appear in mid-summer when little else is flowering and showy, mottled olive-green bark adds to winter interest.
Amur maple has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites.
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.
Ango-Japanese yew, Anglojap yew, English yew, Japanese yew
Anglo-Japanese yew is a very popular hybrid between English and Japanese yew species often used as hedges, specimens and foundation plants. Hardy and resilient, yews are very tolerant of urban conditions and are one of the few evergreens that tolerate heavy shade.
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. This tree is a hybrid between two native serviceberries, downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) and Alleghany serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis).
Arkansas blue star, Narrow-leaf blue star, Narrow-leaved blue star, Hubreicht's blue star
Arkansas blue star is an usual, upright, narrow perennial grown for its fern-like, feathery foliage, light blue star-shaped small flowers, and beautiful golden yellow fall color. It is native to the central Midwest.