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  • Downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)

    Downy serviceberry leaves and flowers emerging in spring.

    Also known as:

    downy serviceberry, juneberry, serviceberry
    Downy serviceberry is a four-season plant offering white flowers in spring, small red berries in summer, excellent fall color and gray bark in winter. The fruit is usually eaten very quickly by birds.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • Dusky Geranium (Geranium phaeum)

    Dusky geranium cultivar Samobor

    Also known as:

    Dusky geranium, mourning widow, dusky crane's-bill, black widow
    Dusky geranium is often sold as Mourning widow geranium due to the dark purple flowers. The popular cultivar 'Samobor' also features a ring of dark purple on its leaves. Dusky geranium is well adapted to shady sites.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
    • 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
  • Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia durior)

    Dutchman's pipe has a very unusual flower.

    Also known as:

    Dutchman's pipe, pipevine
    Dutchman's pipe is a vigorous twining vine that serves as a food source for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly and its caterpillars. Also known as Aristolochia macrophylla.

    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
  • Dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata)

    Dwarf crested iris in full flower.

    Also known as:

    dwarf crested iris, crested iris,
    When someone says "ground cover", iris is not usually the plant that jumps to mind. Dwarf crested iris does make a good ground cover. It grows only 6 or 7 inches tall and forms a dense mat.

    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:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Dwarf dogwood (Cornus pumila)

    Early season leaves of dwarf dogwood.

    Also known as:

    Dwarf dogwood, dwarf red-tipped dogwood, dwarf redtwig dogwood
    Dwarf dogwood, also known as red-tipped dogwood, is a small compact, mounded shrub reaching 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. New leaves emerge purplish-red leaf and leaf tips remain red as the rest of leaf matures to green. In late spring, abundant clusters of slightly fragrant flowers attract butterflies. The mature black fruit are a favorite of birds. Use in a group or as a low hedge.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii)

    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
  • Dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria)

    Dyer's greenweed in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Dyer's greenweed, common woadwaxen, woadwaxen, Dryer's broom
    Dyer's greenweed is a small deciduous shrub with green, upright, twiggy stems. It's a good plant for hot, dry sites such as rock gardens. Prefers acidic, well-drained soil and thrives in nutritionally poor soils. The bright yellow flowers appear from June through September and are used as a dye.

    Size Range:

    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Early Forsythia (Forsythia ovata)

    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
  • Early spirea (Spiraea thunbergii)

    Flowers of early spirea.

    Also known as:

    Early spirea, Thunberg spirea, Thunberg's meadowsweet
    Early spirea or Thunberg spirea is one of the first spireas to flower in early spring. The 3- to 5-feet-high shrub starts out with lovely white umbel-shaped flowers, followed by fine-textured, light green foliage that eventually changes to a bronzy-orange fall color. Great plant for accent or used in a shrub border.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

    Dark green, flat leaflets of eastern arborvitae.

    Also known as:

    Eastern arborvitae, Northern white cedar, Eastern white cedar, American arborvitae
    The eastern arborvitae is an extremely common evergreen tree or shrub, used often as a specimen, in hedges, or for privacy. The small cones open up to look like small flowers and appeal to birds. There are many cultivars that vary in height and other characteristics. On some varieties, the foliage may discolor in winter.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet),
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • Compact tree (10-15 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),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Eastern blue star (Amsonia tabernaemontana)

    Flowers of eastern blue star

    Also known as:

    Eastern blue star, eastern bluestar, willow amsonia, blue dogbane, blue stars
    Eastern blue star is a long-lived, interesting perennial native to central United States. Erect clumps of deep green, willow-like leaves add structure to the garden, steel blue star-shaped clusters open in late spring and foliage turns a beautiful golden yellow in the fall.

    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
  • Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

    Leaves of Eastern cottonwood.

    Also known as:

    Eastern cottonwood, Eastern poplar
    Eastern cottonwood is a large, fast-growing tree found growing along streams, rivers, and lowland areas. It is native to eastern North America through the Midwest and Chicago region. Due to its large size, weak wood, and penetrating roots, it is best used on large properties away from residential areas.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

    Branches of Eastern hemlock.

    Also known as:

    eastern hemlock, Canada hemlock, Canadian hemlock
    One of the more shade-tolerant evergreens, the eastern hemlock has many uses as a specimen, sheared as a hedge, or planted for screening. Native to the eastern United States, the hemlock resembles a large Christmas tree with its broadly pyramidal, pendulous branches; fine, dark-green needles; and abundant brown cones that hang from branches like small ornaments.

    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,
    • North America
  • Eastern red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

    Close up of the needles of eastern red-cedar.

    Also known as:

    Eastern red-cedar, red cedar, Eastern redcedar, upright juniper, Eastern red cedar juniper
    Eastern red-cedar is native to North America. These cold-hardy, adaptable evergreen trees serve many purposes in the landscape, especially in sites that are dry, alkaline or windy. Because they are quite salt-tolerant, they can be used near roads, driveways, and sidewalks.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet),
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • 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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

    Needles of Eastern white pine.

    Also known as:

    Eastern white pine, white pine
    The Eastern white pine is a tree for landscapes with ample space. Its fine feathery needles, open canopy, and straight trunk get more picturesque with age. Trees are fast-growing and long-lived.

    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
  • Elm cultivars (Ulmus)

    Also known as:

    Elm
    A number of elms are available that can resist the pathogen that causes the devastating Dutch elm disease. Since the disease first began mowing down American elms in the 1930s, scientists and breeders have been developing alternatives. Most of these trees are hybrids that cross various species of American, Asian and European elms. Some are selections of species that were observed to resist the disease. Not all these trees have the characteristic vase- or fountain-shaped arching branch structure of the beloved American elm, but some come close. Some also have resistance to other disease and pests that trouble elms. As time goes on, better cultivars are developed, but some of the older ones may still be on the market.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Emerald Triumph viburnum (Viburnum 'Emerald Triumph')

    Also known as:

    Emerald Triumph viburnum
    Emerald Triumph viburnum is a cross between Viburnum rhytidophylloides ‘Allegheny’ and Viburnum burejaeticum. The compact rounded shrub has white, flat-topped flowers followed by persistent green to red to black fruits. The thick, leathery dark green leaves turn yellow and red in the fall.

    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
  • English ivy (Hedera helix)

    English ivy used as a ground cover.

    Also known as:

    English ivy
    English ivy is a versatile plant that functions as both a ground cover and a vine. It's evergreen foliage provides interest year round. This plant can grow aggressively and it considered invasive in some areas.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 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
  • English oak (Quercus robur)

    Summer foliage of English oak.

    Also known as:

    English oak, truffle oak, pedunculate oak
    English oak is a long-lived oak with a broadly rounded to spreading habit with a short trunk. It is an excellent specimen tree or can be planted in a grouping in large open landscapes. The acorns form a valuable food source for several small mammals and some birds but trees may take up to 20 years to produce fruit.

    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
  • Eurasian smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria)

    Yellow fall color of Eurasian smoke tree

    Also known as:

    Eurasian smoke tree, Smoke tree, Smoke bush, Smoketree, Smokebush
    The outstanding feature of Eurasian smoke tree is the large, airy, plume-like stalks that hold the small flowers. These are covered with hairs that provide the appearance of a puff of smoke.

    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
  • European ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus excelsior)

    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
  • European beech (Fagus sylvatica)

    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
  • European black alder (Not recommended) (Alnus glutinosa)

    Male catkins (flowers) and female strobiles (fruit) of European black alder.

    Also known as:

    European black alder, European alder, Common alder
    European black alder 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.

    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
  • European cranberry-bush viburnum (not recommended) (Viburnum opulus var. opulus (syn. Viburnum opulus))

    Leaves and fruit of European cranberry-bush viburnum.

    Also known as:

    European cranberry-bush, European cranberry-bush viburnum, European cranberrybush viburnum
    European cranberry-bush viburnum is an attractive, multi-season interest shrub, but it has become an invasive plant in some states and is not recommended. The similar, native American cranberry-bush viburnum (Vibrunum opulus var. americanum) is a more recommended substitute. It has the same ornamental features and is native to North America.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • European elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

    Specimen plant of European elderberry, cultivar 'Eva'.

    Also known as:

    European elderberry, Common elderberry
    European elderberry is a large, multi-stemmed, rounded shrub. Plants are colony-forming and best used for naturalizing in moist to wet landscapes. The flap-topped, white,fragrant flowers appear in early summer, followed by clusters of purple fruit in mid-to-late summer.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 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:

    • Non-native
  • European fly honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum)

    Flowers of Clavey's dwarf honeysuckle.

    Also known as:

    European fly honeysuckle
    European fly honeysuckle is a large, rounded shrub with arching branches and blue-to-gray green foliage. A popular, old-fashioned shrub used for hedges and screening.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • European hazelnut (Corylus avellana)

    Leaves of European hazelnut.

    Also known as:

    European hazelnut, European filbert, European hazel, filbert, giant filbert, hazelnut, cobnut
    European hazelnut is often grown as a large shrub, but it can also be used as a small tree. This species produces edible hazelnuts or filberts.

    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
  • European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus )

    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
  • European larch (Larix decidua)

    Cones of European larch.

    Also known as:

    European larch, common larch
    European larch is a great choice for specimen plantings or in groups for parks and large areas. Unlike most conifers, it drops its needles in winter. Bright green foliage in spring changes to medium green throughout summer, turning a golden yellow in fall before falling.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)

    European mountain ash produces orange-red clusters of fruit in late summer.

    Also known as:

    European Mountain Ash, Rowan,Rowantree, Common Mountainash
    European mountain ash, or Rowan tree, is a small, 20 to 40 feet tall with white, flat-topped flowers, smooth gray bark, and clusters of bright red, persistent fruits. Native to cooler climates of Europe and Asia, often prone to many insect and disease problems when grown in warm climates. May be difficult to find in nursery trade.

    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

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