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  • Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower)

    Purple coneflower in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Purple coneflower, broad-leaved purple coneflower
    Purple coneflower is a native wildflower of Illinois and the Chicago region. It offers color in the middle of summer and cones full of seeds for birds during winter.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Eleutherococcus sieboldianus (Syn. Acanthopanax sieboliana) (Siebold's shrub-ginseng)

    Also known as:

    Siebold's shrub-ginseng, Siebold shrub ginseng, fiveleaf aralia
    Siebold's shrub-ginseng, also known as five-leaved aralia, is an upright, deciduous shrub reaching 8 to 10 feet high and wide. Medium green, palmately compound leaves hold late into fall. Stout gray arching stems have thorns making it a good barrier shrub.

    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
  • Elymus canadensis (Canada wild rye)

    Seed heads of Canada wild rye.

    Also known as:

    Canada wild rye, Great Plains wild rye, nodding wild rye, Canada lyme grass
    Canada wild rye is a native grass that was part of the tallgrass prairie. It is a cool season, clumping grass, best used in areas where naturalizing is desirable as it has a tendency to self seed.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Elymus hystrix (syn. Hystrix patula) (Bottlebrush grass)

    Seed heads of bottlebrush grass.

    Also known as:

    Bottlebrush grass, Eastern bottlebrush grass, glumeless wild rye
    Bottlebrush grass is a native grass that is found in wooded areas rather than in prairies. It can be used for naturalizing in shady sites.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Elymus virginicus (Virginia wild rye)

    Seed heads of Virginia wild rye.

    Also known as:

    Virginia wild rye, Virginia lyme grass
    Virginia wild rye is a cool season, clumping grass similar to Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis). It is more tolerant of shade and prefers a more fertile soil.

    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
  • Epimedium grandiflorum (Longspur barrenwort)

    Queen Esta longspur barrenwort has colorful foliage.

    Also known as:

    Longspur barrenwort, longspur epimedium, longspur bishop's hat, bishop's cap,fairy wings
    There are several species of barrenwort that are commonly used as ground covers, and longspur barrenwort is one of the showiest, due to its relatively large flowers. Other species and hybrids of barrenwort are listed at the end of this page. All of them do well in shady sites.

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches),
    • 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
  • Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple love grass)

    Purple flowers form a cloud-like haze over purple love grass.

    Also known as:

    Purple love grass
    Purple love grass is a Midwestern native that produces reddish-purple flowers and fruit that hang over the plant like a cloud. This is a warm season, clumping grass.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Eragrostis trichodes (Sand love grass)

    Also known as:

    Sand love grass
    Sand love grass is a Midwest native that prefers sandy or well-drained sites. It is a warm season, clumping grass. It will self- seed.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Eucommia ulmoides (Hardy rubber-tree)

    Leaves of hardy rubber-tree.

    Also known as:

    Hardy rubber-tree, Hardy rubber tree
    Hardy rubber-tree, a native of China, can be used in the landscape as a shade tree. It has an attractive round to broad-spreading form and during summer, the thick leaves are a very glossy green.

    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
  • Euonymus alatus (Burning bush (Not recommended))

    Burning bush in fall color.

    Also known as:

    Burning bush; burningbush; burning-bush; winged euonymus
    Burning bush is a popular large shrub common in yards and gardens throughout North America. This Asian shrub is invasive and should not be planted. It is known for its bright red fall color. It has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This shrub is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future.

    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
  • Euonymus atropurpureus (Wahoo)

    The fruit of the wahoo.

    Also known as:

    Wahoo, Eastern Wahoo, Eastern burning bush
    Wahoo is a Chicago region native offering beautiful fruit in fall. It may be difficult to find this species in local nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • 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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Euonymus europaeus (Spindle tree)

    Flowers of spindle tree.

    Also known as:

    Spindle tree, European spindle tree, European euonymus, common spindle tree
    Spindle tree is an European species of euonymus with attractive fall color and interesting fruit capsules. Birds are attracted to the fruit and tend to spread them freely to the point that this plant has become weedy and invasive in some areas.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • 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
  • Euonymus fortunei (Wintercreeper)

    Wintercreeper as a ground cover.

    Also known as:

    Wintercreeper, Wintercreeper euonymus
    Wintercreeper is a fast-growing, versatile ground cover, shrub or vine. Many different cultivars are available. Wintercreeper should be used with care as it is considered invasive in some locations.

    Size Range:

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

    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
  • Exochorda racemosa (Common pearlbush)

    White flowers of pearlbush, cultivar 'The Bride'.

    Also known as:

    Pearlbush, common pearlbush, Turkestan pearlbush, Chinese pearlbush, Wilson's pearlbush
    Common pearlbush is an old-fashioned, but not commonly used shrub. This attractive and fairly long-blooming shrub has small, round, pearl-like flower buds that open in sequence to pure white, five-petaled flowers. Foliage is medium green turning to a soft yellow fall color. Older bark peels off, similar to birch, adding winter interest.

    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
  • Fagus grandifolia (American beech)

    American beech leaves and beechnuts.

    Also known as:

    American beech
    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.

    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
  • Fagus sylvatica (European beech)

    Summer foliage of the European beech.

    Also known as:

    European beech, Common beech
    European beech is a large, graceful tree appropriate for large landscapes like parks and golf courses. This species has smooth silvery gray bark, short trunks and a low branching habit.

    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
  • Fallopia aubertii (syn. Polygonum aubertii) (Silver lace vine)

    Silver lace vine growing on a chain link fence.

    Also known as:

    Silver lace vine, silver fleece vine
    Silver lace vine is a beautiful flowering vine, but it is an aggressive grower and is becoming an invasive plant in some areas. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this vine for planting sites.

    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
  • Festuca glauca (Blue fescue)

    A group of blue fescue.

    Also known as:

    Blue fescue
    Blue fescue is a small, mounded, cool season grass grown for its compact size and blue foliage. It is a non-native, clumping grass. The blue coloration can vary, so it is best to buy named cultvars for uniformity of color.

    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
  • Ficus carica (Common fig)

    Also known as:

    Common fig
    Common fig is a medium to large shrub or small compact tree reaching 10 to 12 feet high. Will die back to the ground in northern climates if not winter protected. Large course leaves and edible fruit add summer interest. Can be grown in containers.

    Size Range:

    • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
    • 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
  • Forsythia ovata (Early Forsythia)

    Flowers of early forsythia.

    Also known as:

    Early forsythia, Korean forsythia
    Early forsythia is a harbinger of spring when bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers lighten the spring landscape long before other plants are awake. Shrubs reach 4 to 6 feet high and wide with a dense, erect habit and slightly arching canes.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Forsythia viridissima (Green-stemmed forsythia)

    Spring flowers of green-stemmed forsythia, cultivar 'Bronxensis'.

    Also known as:

    Green-stemmed forsythia, greenstem forsythia, Korean forsythia
    Green-stemmed forsythia, sometimes called Korean forsythia is an upright, flat-topped shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high and wide. Bright, one-inch yellow flowers have a slight green tinge and appear a few weeks after other forsythia. Green-stemmed forsythia is one of the parents for the popular Forsythia x intermedia cultivars.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Forsythia x intermedia (Border forsythia)

    Also known as:

    Border forsythia
    Border forsythia is a multi-stemmed shrub noted for the bright yellow flowers in early spring. An excellent shrub for mixed borders, in mass or as an informal hedge. Flower bud hardiness varies by cultivar and should be selected wisely.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Fothergilla gardenii (Dwarf fothergilla)

    Dwarf fothergilla in flower.

    Also known as:

    Dwarf fothergilla, Dwarf witch-alder
    Dwarf fothergilla is a small, multi-season shrub with white, bottle brush-like flowers in spring, blue-green leaves in summer turning a kaleidoscope of color in autumn.

    Size Range:

    • 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:

    • North America
  • Fothergilla major (Large fothergilla)

    Large fothergilla in full flower in spring.

    Also known as:

    Large fothergilla, witch-alder
    Large fothergilla is a large, rounded shrub with excellent four-season interest. Early flowering, honey-scented bottle brush-like flowers appear before the leaves, summer foliage is a clean, blue-green changing to outstanding shades of orange, red, and yellow fall color.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • 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
  • Fragaria virginiana (Wild strawberry)

    Wild strawberry produces white flowers in spring.

    Also known as:

    Wild strawberry, Virginia strawberry, scarlet strawberry
    Wild strawberry is a native wildflower that can be used as a ground cover. It produces white flowers in spring, followed by edible strawberries.

    Size Range:

    • Low-growing plant (under 6 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
  • Fraxinus americana (White ash (Not recommended))

    The bark of white ash is narrowly ridged and furrowed.

    Also known as:

    white ash, American ash
    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), white ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. White ash, a native woodland tree found throughout the Midwest, had been used extensively as a shade and street tree. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Fraxinus excelsior (European ash (Not recommended))

    Summer foliage of European ash.

    Also known as:

    European ash, common ash
    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), European ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. European ash is a large shade tree found throughout Europe which is hardy to the Midwest. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Fraxinus nigra (Black ash (Not recommended))

    A young black ash tree.

    Also known as:

    black ash
    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), black ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Black ash is a medium-sized, native tree adaptable to wet sites. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash (Not recommended))

    Summer foliage of green ash.

    Also known as:

    green ash, red ash
    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), green ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Green ash is a highly adaptable native tree; very cold hardy and tolerant of a wide range of soil pH and moisture levels. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

    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
  • Fraxinus quadrangulata (Blue ash (Not recommended))

    Summer foliage of blue ash.

    Also known as:

    blue ash
    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), blue ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Blue ash, a Midwest native, is often found growing in limestone outcrops. It has distinctive, 4-sided winged stems and gray platy bark. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America

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