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  • Carya laciniosa (Shellbark hickory)

     A mature shellbark hickory showing the slightly loose, platy bark.

    Also known as:

    shellbark hickory, big shellbark hickory, kingnut hickory, big-leaved shagbark hickory
    Shellbark hickory is a large tree with shaggy bark and good yellow fall color. It has a deep taproot, so it is difficult to transplant. The nuts produced are edible.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Carya ovalis (Red hickory)

    Leaves of red hickory.

    Also known as:

    red hickory, pignut hickory, false shagbark, small pignut
    Red hickory is sometimes referred to as pignut hickory or false shagbark hickory. It has a slightly shaggy bark and good golden-yellow fall color. The nuts are edible and are attractive to wildlife.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Carya ovata (Shagbark hickory)

    Leaves of shagbark hickory.

    Also known as:

    shagbark hickory
    Plant a shagbark hickory in a large landscape for excellent shade. This Midwest native is named for its bark, which peels away in large, flat, curving plates, giving the tree a shaggy appearance. As a member of the walnut family, the hickory produces edible nuts.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Carya tomentosa (Mockernut hickory)

    Leaves of mockernut hickory.

    Also known as:

    mockernut hickory, white hickory
    Mockernut hickory, like all hickories, is tap-rooted and thus difficult to transplant. This Illinois native tolerates dry sites fairly well and produces good golden-yellow fall color. It may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Caryopteris incana (Hoary bluebeard)

    Hoary bluebeard, cultivar 'Jason' (Sunshine Blue®).

    Also known as:

    Hoary bluebeard
    An open, loose, woody shrub reaching 2 to 3 feet tall with violet-blue flowers in late summer and fragrant, silvery-green foliage. Though hoary bluebeard is technically a shrub, it should be treated as a perennial in the Midwest because it tends to die back in harsh winters.

    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
  • Caryopteris x clandonensis (Bluebeard)

    Bluebeard in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Bluebeard
    A mounded woody plant with 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.

    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
  • Castanea dentata (American chestnut)

    American chestnut leaves.

    Also known as:

    American chestnut
    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.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Castanea mollissima (Chinese chestnut)

    Mature specimen of Chinese chestnut.

    Also known as:

    Chinese chestnut
    Chinese chestnut is resistant to chestnut blight which has almost wiped out the American chestnut. This non-native species produces spikes of creamy white flowers in summer. The edible nuts develop in sharp, spiny husks.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Catalpa bignonioides (Southern catalpa)

    Also known as:

    Southern Catalpa, Common Catalpa, Eastern Catalpa, Cigar Tree
    Southern catalpa is a short-trunked tree with a rounded to irregular form that can reach 30 to 40 feet in height. Attractive, large panicles of white bell-shaped flowers with yellow and purple spots bloom in early summer and are long-lasting.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Catalpa erubescens (Hybrid catalpa)

    Leaves and fruit of hybrid catalpa.

    Also known as:

    hybrid catalpa
    Hybrid catalpa is the result of a cross between the Chinese catalpa and the native southern catalpa. Like other catalpas, this tree has showy white flowers in spring, followed by bean-like seed pods.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Catalpa ovata (Chinese catalpa)

    Leaves and fruit of Chinese catalpa.

    Also known as:

    Chinese catalpa, yellow catalpa
    The Chinese catalpa thrives in Midwestern urban environments. It has showy blossoms that appear in the spring, followed by bean-like seed pods. This tree can withstand a range of soil types, including wet and dry conditions, which makes it useful in difficult sites such as moist low spots and dry sites with poor soils.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Catalpa speciosa (Northern catalpa)

    Spring flowers of Northern catalpa.

    Also known as:

    Northern catalpa, Catalpa, Cigar-tree, Hardy catalpa, Western catalpa
    Catalpa is a Midwest native tree grows 40 to 60 feet tall, with a narrow, open, irregularly rounded crown and spreading branches. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and large clusters of fragrant, white flowers. The long, interesting seed pods persist through the winter. Northern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions, but has weak wood and branch structure.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

    Flowers of New Jersey tea.

    Also known as:

    New Jersey tea, wild snowbell, redroot
    During June and July this low-growing, rounded shrub is a cloud of white flowers; use it in masses for best affect, as a tall ground cover, or on steep slopes. Despite its name, New Jersey tea is a Chicago-area native.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental bittersweet (Illegal to sell in Illinois))

    Leaves and fruit of oriental bittersweet.

    Also known as:

    Oriental bittersweet, Chinese bittersweet
    Oriental bittersweet has been a popular plant for many years. Unfortunately it has become invasive in many areas of the Eastern United States and is no longer recommended. In Illinois, it is classified as a exotic weed and is illegal to sell.

    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
  • Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)

    American bittersweet growing over a wall.

    Also known as:

    American bittersweet, Climbing bittersweet
    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.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Celtis laevigata (Sugarberry)

    Sugarberry has small flowers in spring.

    Also known as:

    sugarberry, sugar hackberry, southern hackberry
    Native to southern Illinois, sugarberry is closely related to a more northern species, common hackberry. Sugarberry has fewer problems with leaf galls and witches broom, which are seen regularly on common hackberry. The bark is also smoother and less warty than that of common hackberry.

    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:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Celtis occidentalis (Hackberry)

    Common hackberry has an unusal, warty bark.

    Also known as:

    Hackberry
    Hackberry is a Chicago-area native and a sturdy, tolerant shade tree for streets and parkways, or parks and other large areas. Its fleshy, purple-brown berries ripen in late summer and persist through winter.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)

    The ball-shaped flower clusters of buttonbush.

    Also known as:

    Buttonbush
    Buttonbush is great shrub for naturalizing in wet areas. The glossy green leaves and fragrant, round flower clusters during mid-summer attract butterflies. Round, persistent fruits add to winter interest. Native to Chicago area and eastern U.S.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-summer)

    Snow in summer has white flowers and silvery foliage.

    Also known as:

    Snow-in-summer
    Snow-in-summer is a ground cover that provides both flowering and silvery foliage once the flowers have faded. It is a good ground cover for dry, sunny areas.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Leadwort)

    Leadwort in early fall showing its blue summer flowers and red fall color.

    Also known as:

    Leadwort, plumbago, dwarf plumbago, Chinese leadwort
    Despite its somewhat understated common name, leadwort can add some zing to the garden, with truly blue flowers and a little red leaf color in autumn.

    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
  • Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura tree)

    Summer foliage of katsura tree.

    Also known as:

    katsura tree, katsuratree, katsura-tree, Japanese katsura
    The katsura tree, native to Japan, makes an excellent specimen or shade tree in Midwestern landscapes. Its foliage offers an array of color throughout the year. In spring, heart-shaped leaves emerge reddish-purple, changing to blue-green as they mature. In autumn the color display changes again as leaves turn clear yellow or apricot color.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Cercis canadensis (Redbud)

    Spring flower buds of Eastern redbud.

    Also known as:

    Redbud, Eastern redbud, Red bud
    In April and May, many neighborhoods are brightened by the purplish-pink flowers lining the dark branches of redbuds before their leaves open. This Chicago native plant, evolved in the understory and wood edges of forests. It works especially well among evergreens that contrast with its color and shelter it from intense sunlight.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Chaenomeles japonica (Japanese flowering quince)

    Flowers of Japanese flowering quince.

    Also known as:

    Japanese flowering quince, flowering quince
    Japanese flowering quince is a low-growing, spring-flowering shrub with dark green shiny leaves. Growth habit changes with cultivars often reaching 3 to 4 feet high. Bright orange-scarlet flowers appear after the leaves emerge. Most stems have thorns, so avoid planting near sidewalk and heavy traffic areas.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chaenomeles speciosa (Common flowering quince)

    Flowers of common flowering quince, cultivar "Toyo-Nishiki'.

    Also known as:

    Common flowering quince, flowering quince
    Common flowering quince is a tall, deciduous shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high. Shiny, dark green leaves appear before the scarlet-red flowers emerge in spring. Dense tangles of stems have spiny thorns, best used as a hedge, back of the border or in mass. Edible fruit is used to make jam and jellies.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (Alaska cedar)

    Needled foliage of Alaska cedar.

    Also known as:

    Alaska cedar, Alaska-cedar, Yellow cypress, Nootka falsecypress
    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.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Chamaecyparis obtusa (Hinoki-cypress)

    Foliage of Hinoki-cypress

    Also known as:

    Hinoki-cypress, Hinoki falsecypress, Japanese cypress
    Hinoki-cypress is a graceful spreading with branches that droop at the tips. The small cones and attractive red peeling bark add winter interest. There are a number of dwarf and compact cultivars available and add nice accent in the garden.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • 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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chamaecyparis pisifera (Sawara-cypress)

    Foliage of Sawara-cypress

    Also known as:

    Sawara-cypress, Sawara Falsecypress, Japanese Falsecypress, sawara cypress
    Its pyramidal habit, loose open branching and scale-like, dark green foliage make the sawara-cypress a notable option for specimen plantings or in groups in a large landscape. Besides its remarkable foliage, this evergreen has handsome reddish-brown bark that peels off in strips and tiny, reddish-brown cones on short stalks.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet),
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white-cedar)

    Needled foliage of Atlantic white-cedar.

    Also known as:

    Atlantic white-cedar, Swamp white-cedar, Southern white-cedar
    Atlantic white-cedar is an attractive plant, but is not commonly found in landscapes. It may be difficult to find in nurseries as well. This tree requires moist to wet sites and is very intolerant of drought.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Chasmanthium latifolium (Northern sea-oats)

    Seed heads of Northern sea-oats.

    Also known as:

    Northern sea-oats, wild oats, wood oats, Indian wood-oats, spangle grass
    Northern sea-oats is a grass native to the southern half of Illinois. This warm season, clumping grass has interesting oat-like seed heads that rustle easily in the wind, adding movement to the garden.

    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
  • Chelone glabra (White turtle-head)

    Also known as:

    White turtle-head

    White turtle-head is an upright vase-shaped plant that carries white flowers tinged with pink over thick, dark green leaves.  The hooded flowers bloom at the end of the stems in late summer to early fall.  The plant likes consistent moisture and can tolerate wet soil, so it is useful near the edges of streams or ponds.

    "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:

    • 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:

    • Chicago area

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