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  • Betula pubescens (Moor birch (Not recommended))

    White bark of moor birch.

    Also known as:

    moor birch, Eurasian paper birch
    Due to susceptibility to bronze birch borer (BBB), moor birch is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. Moor birch has a narrow habit and gray-white bark.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Betula pumila (Bog birch)

    Fruit and leaves of bog birch.

    Also known as:

    bog birch; American dwarf birch; dwarf birch; low birch; swamp birch
    Bog birch is common in the upper Midwest. It is a medium-sized, short-lived, clump-forming shrub for wet habitats. It may be difficult to find in the nursery trade.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Betula utilis (Betula jacquemontii, Betula utilis var jacquemontii) (Himalayan birch (Not recommended))

    Himalayan birch is a variable species and can have white bark or a more brownish bark as seen here.

    Also known as:

    Himalayan birch, white-barked Himalayan birch, whitebarked Himalayan birch,
    Due to susceptibility to bronze birch borer (BBB), Himalayan birch is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. Himalayan birch has yellow fall color.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Boltonia asteroides (False aster)

    Also known as:

    False aster, boltonia, false chamomile, white boltonia, white doll's daisy

    False aster produces large numbers of daisy-like white to pale lavender flowers late in the summer.  The attractive foliage is blue-green.  Easily grown in full sun and moist soils, false aster can tolerate a variety of conditions.  Useful in naturalized areas or the back of perennial beds.

    This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

     

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Bouteloua curtipendula (Side oats grama)

    Side-oats grama going to seed.

    Also known as:

    Side oats grama, mesquite grass, tall grama grass
    Side oats grama was a common grass in both the tallgrass and shortgrass prairies even though it is a shorter grass (about 2 to 2 1/2 feet). It is most often found in drier areas away from the shade of the taller grasses. It is a warm season grass and considered a clumping grass, even though it does send out short rhizomes.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Bouteloua gracilus (Blue grama)

    Blue grama is one of the shorter prairie grasses.

    Also known as:

    Blue grama, mosquito grass
    Blue grama is smaller than the closely related side oats grama, growing only 8 to 15 inches tall. It was a common grass in the shortgrass prairie.

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches),
    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian bugloss)

    Siberian bugloss flowering in spring.

    Also known as:

    Siberian bugloss, brunnera, heartleaf brunnera, false forget-me-not

    Siberian bugloss has large, fuzzy, heart-shaped leaves which support a cloud of tiny true blue flowers in the spring.   Often used as a groundcover or naturalized in shady spots.

    This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

     

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Buchloe dactyloides (Buffalograss)

    Buffalograss used as a lawn.

    Also known as:

    Buffalograss
    Buffalograss is native to the western areas of the tallgrass prairie. It is sometimes listed as native to the Chicago region, but it is thought to be introduced from further west. This is a low-growing, warm season, running grass.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches),
    • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Buddleja davidii (Butterfly bush)

    Butterfly bush in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Butterfly bush, summer lilac
    A long-blooming shrub or woody perennial with dense clusters of fragrant flowers, butterfly bush attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Often considered a sub-shrub because it dies back to the ground. A great addition to sunny borders and dry open gardens. Also known as Buddleia davidii.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Buxus hybrids (Boxwood hybrids)

    Boxwood shrub.

    Also known as:

    Boxwood, hybrid boxwood, common box, boxwood cultivars
    Boxwoods are excellent, low-growing, evergreen shrubs with dark green, finely textured leaves. Boxwoods can be used as hedges, rounded specimens and neatly compact background plants in any landscape. Many of the boxwoods sold today are hybrids with complex parentage.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Buxus microphylla var. koreana (Korean boxwood)

    Korean boxwood in winter.

    Also known as:

    Korean boxwood, littleleaf boxwood
    Korean boxwood is a small, mounded, broadleaf evergreen shrub with small, glossy, light green leaves with a uniform formal habit.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Buxus sempervirens (Common boxwood)

    Specimen of common boxwood, cultivar 'Schmidt'.

    Also known as:

    Common boxwood, box, common box
    Common boxwood is a broadly rounded evergreen shrub or small tree. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa found in open woodlands and rocky hillsides. A popular ornamental evergreen used as hedges, borders and topiary. Named because wood was popular for making boxes and cabinets.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Calamagrostis brachytricha (Korean reed grass)

    A group of Korean reed grass in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Korean reed grass, short-haired reed grass
    Korean reed grass is a warm season, clumping grass. This non-native grass provides multiple seasons of interest in the home landscape.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora (Feather reed grass)

    A group of feather-reed grass in flower.

    Also known as:

    Feather reed grass
    Feather reed grass is a hybrid of non-native grasses. It is a cool season grass that offers a very narrow, upright habit and interest in winter. It is a clumping grass.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Calamintha nepeta ssp. nepeta (Lesser calamint)

    A bed of lesser calamint in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Lesser calamint, savory calamint, calamintha

    A low-growing garden plant, lesser calamint is a tough, drought tolerant plant that blooms most of the summer with a cloud of white to lavendar flowers over mats of gray-green foliage.  These plants make great fillers.  They also attract a large number of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.  Calamints are cousins to the herbal mints and are very fragrant but do not spread as aggressively.

    This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

     

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Callicarpa dichotoma (Purple beautyberry)

    Fruit on purple beautyberry.

    Also known as:

    Purple beautyberry
    Purple beautyberry is a small shrub with finely textured leaves that turns shades of yellow and purple in the fall. It is grown for its unusual bright lilac-colored fall berries borne in dense clusters along the graceful arching stems.When planted en masse it is particularly attractive for fall interest in the landscape.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Callirhoe involucrata (Purple poppy-mallow )

    Purple poppy-mallow has bright magenta flowers.

    Also known as:

    Poppy-mallow, Poppy mallow, wine cups, finger poppy mallow

    Purple poppy-mallow is a perennial wildflower has beautiful cup-shaped magenta flowers that last much of the summer and attractive, deeply lobed leaves.  The trailing stems make this plant useful in rock gardens or trailing over a wall.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Caltha palustris (Marsh Marigold)

    Marsh marigold in flower.

    Also known as:

    Marsh Marigold, Kingcup

    Marsh Marigold has bright yellow flowers that bloom above dark green, rounded leaves in spring.  As the name would suggest, this low-growing perennial is native to swamps, wetlands and streambanks.  Full sun is necessary for the best flower show.

    "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."

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area
  • Calycanthus floridus (Carolina allspice)

    The unusual flower of Carolina allspice.

    Also known as:

    Carolina-Allspice, Carolina Allspice, Common Sweetshrub, Sweetshrub, Spicebush
    Carolina allspice is a dense, rounded shrub reaching 6 to 9 feet high. It has unusual, strap-like, maroon to reddish-brown flowers with a sweet banana-strawberry fragrance. Fruit is a persistent, urn-shape brown seed pod.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Campanula carpatica (Carpathian harebell)

    Carpathian harebell, culitvar Blue Clips

    Also known as:

    Carpathian harebell, Capathian bellflower, Tussock bellflower

    Carpathian harebell is a low-growing plant with blue bell-shaped flowers.  Tolerating a wide range of conditions as long as they are well-drained, they provide a long period of summer bloom.  Excellent for use in rock gardens or the front of the border.

    This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Campanula glomerata (Clustered bellflower)

    The flowers of clustered bellflower.

    Also known as:

    Clustered bellflower, Danesblood bellflower

    Clustered purple flowers form on upright, hairy stems in summer, lasting two to three weeks.  The plant forms open clumps by spreading underground by rhizome.  Best used in informal areas as it can be an aggressive spreader.

    This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

     

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian bellflower)

    Also known as:

    Serbian bellflower

    Serbian bellflower is a compact, trailing plant with small pale blue star-shaped flowers.  Rarely over 10" tall, this little plant looks great trailing over walls, in the front of a border, or in a rock garden.  A vigorous grower, this long-blooming plant will form widening mounds as it ages.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Campsis radicans (Trumpet vine)

    Flowers of trumpet vine.

    Also known as:

    Trumpet vine, trumpetcreeper, trumpet creeper
    Trumpet vine is a woody, clinging vine which attaches itself to structures by aerial rootlets. It can rapidly grow to 30 to 40 feet high. Terminal clusters of 2 to 3 inch long, red trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds throughout the summer.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Caragana arborescens (fruticosa) (Siberian pea-shrub)

    Fruit of Siberian pea-shrub.

    Also known as:

    Siberian pea-shrub; Siberian peashrub
    Siberian pea-shrub is a hardy, sun-loving, large shrub tolerant of drought, wind, deer and varying soil conditions. Prized for its light green, ferny-like foliage and bright yellow spring flowers.

    Size Range:

    • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Carex morrowii (Morrow's sedge)

    Morrow's sedge, cultivar Ice Dance has striped leaves.

    Also known as:

    Morrow's sedge, Japanese sedge, Japanese grass sedge
    Morrow's sedge is a grass-like plant that can be used as a ground cover. The plant is most commonly sold as variegated cultivars.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Carpinus betulus (European hornbeam)

    Summer foliage of European hornbeam.

    Also known as:

    European hornbeam, upright hornbeam, common hornbeam
    European hornbeams are excellent in groupings around large buildings and also useful as screens, hedges, and windbreak trees. The European hornbeam has densely textured foliage and handsome, slate-gray smooth to fluted bark. The dark green leaves turn an attractive yellow in the fall, and the bark and buds are ornamental in winter.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet),
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)

    American hornbeam in fall color.

    Also known as:

    American hornbeam, musclewood, blue beech
    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.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Carya cordiformis (Bitternut hickory)

    A mature specimen of bitternut hickory.

    Also known as:

    bitternut hickory, bitternut, swamp hickory
    Bitternut hickory is a large north American native tree, best reserved for larger landscapes. Like all hickories, debris from its fruit drops from late summer throughout autumn, making fall cleanup in urban areas more challenging.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Carya glabra (Pignut hickory)

    A pignut hickory nut.

    Also known as:

    pignut hickory
    Pignut hickory is a large tree that has a tall, but relatively narrow crown. The bark is tight rather than shaggy and fall color is golden. The nuts produced are bitter tasting.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Carya illinoinensis (Pecan)

    Leaves of the pecan tree.

    Also known as:

    pecan
    The pecan is one of the most important native nut trees in North America. It is a large, straight-trunked tree native to river bottoms and rich fertile soils. The nut, a beloved pie ingredient, ripens in the fall.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America

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