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  • Giant arborvitae (Thuja plicata )

    A mature specimen of giant arborvitae.

    Also known as:

    giant arborvitae, western arborvitae
    Giant arborvitae is a dense, stately evergreen tree native to the Pacific Northwest, often used as a specimen or for screening. The fresh green foliage consists of flat sprays formed by overlapping scales. The tree supplies seeds and shelter for birds but is less appealing to deer. There are many cultivars that vary in height and other characteristics. On some varieties, the foliage changes color 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),
    • 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:

    • North America
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

    The ginkgo tree has fan-shaped leaves.

    Also known as:

    ginkgo, maidenhair tree
    Ginkgo is a very pest-resistant tree. It has interesting, fan-shaped leaves that turn vivid yellow in fall. Only male trees should be purchased as the females produce messy fruit that have a potent odor.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Glossy abelia (Abelia x grandiflora)

    Also known as:

    Glossy abelia
    A small to medium, rounded shrub with arching stems. The late spring, highly fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers have a pink blush. The dark green, glossy leaves turn a bronze-purple. Effective as a low hedge, specimen plant or en masse on slopes for erosion control.

    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
  • Goat willow (Salix caprea)

    Flower buds of goat willow beginning to open in very early spring.

    Also known as:

    Goat willow, pussy willow
    Goat willow is a small, compact tree or large shrub with attractive long male catkins appearing before the leaves in early spring.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Goat's beard (Aruncus dioicus)

    Goat's beard has upright clusters of tiny, white flowers.

    Also known as:

    Goat's beard, goatsbeard, bride's feathers
    Goat's beard is a native, colony-forming perennial for the back of the border shade garden. The tall, erect, creamy-white plumes of flowers appear above the fern-like foliage in mid-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),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Golden hyssop (Agastache aurantiaca)

    Also known as:

    Golden hyssop, Giant hyssop
    Golden hyssop is a short-lived perennial with open airy habit producing golden orange flower spikes. Native to mountain ledges in Arizona to New Mexico this plant requires well-drained sunny locations. In northern climates site in a protected area. Hummingbirds, butterflies are attracted to the late summer flowers.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

    Golden rain tree in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Golden rain tree, panicled goledn rain tree, varnish tree, pride of India
    Golden rain tree is known for its sprays of yellow flowers in summer. The flowers are followed by fruit that are air-filled capsules resembling Japanese lanterns. These fruit change from green to yellow to a fleshy, almost pink color. Because it readily self-sows, it has become a problem in some locations.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Golden St. John's Wort (Hypericum frondosum)

    Leaves and immature fruit of golden St. John's wort.

    Also known as:

    Golden St John's Wort, Golden Saint John's wort
    Golden St. John's Wort puts on an explosive display of bright yellow flowers in mid-summer that lasts for 3 to 4 weeks. This shrubby, round shrub has stiff, upright branching, blue-green narrow foliage that turns reddish purple in the fall. The exfoliating bark and persistent seed capsules add winter interest to 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:

    • North America
  • Golden weeping willow (Salix alba 'Tristis')

    Golden weeping willow in early spring.

    Also known as:

    golden weeping willow
    Golden weeping willow is so named for its brilliant yellow twigs and graceful, drooping form. Like all willows, this cultivar is very tolerant of wet sites; it is also highly susceptible to storm damage.

    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
  • Goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii)

    Goldflame honeysuckle has clusters of pink and yellow flowers.

    Also known as:

    Goldflame honeysuckle, Goldflame honeysuckle vine
    This twining vine twists and spirals around a supporting plant, trellis, or arbor. In summer, goldflame honeysuckle has clusters of fragrant tubular flowers in vibrant pink and yellow that bloom amid the vines. Unlike some species of honeysuckle, it is not invasive.

    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
  • Grape-leaved anemone (Anemone tomentosa)

    Cultivar 'Robustissima' has mauve-pink flowers.

    Also known as:

    Grape-leaved anemone, grape-leaf anemone, robust wooly anemone, wooly anemone
    Grape-leaved anemone is an old-fashioned, fast-growing, spreading perennial with coarse, seven-lobed, grape-like leaves. The fall-blooming, two-inch-wide, pale pink flowers rise above the foliage. Thrives in sun or shade.

    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
  • Gray birch (Betula populifolia )

    The bark of gray birch is smooth and white.

    Also known as:

    gray birch, white birch, poplar birch
    Gray birch is a narrow, pyramidal tree of cool climates. Bright green leaves turn a yellow fall color. Older trees develop a chalky white bark that does not peel. A good selection for poor soils and other difficult sites, it also demonstrates some resistance to bronze birch borer (BBB).

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)

    Flowers of gray dogwood.

    Also known as:

    Gray dogwood, Panicled dogwood
    Gray dogwood is a very adaptable, native shrub that is excellent for naturalizing, especially in difficult sites, such as pond and stream banks. Although its suckering, spreading habit makes it impractical for formal plantings, it can be incorporated into the shrub border and useful as a mass planting. Creamy white clusters of flowers in May are followed by white berries in late summer that are quickly eaten by birds.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)

    Green and gold has bright yellow flowers in spring.

    Also known as:

    Green and gold, goldenstar, golden knee
    Green and gold is a small ground cover that produces an abundance of bright yellow, star-shaped flowers in spring.

    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),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Green ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

    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
  • Green hawthorn (Crataegus viridis)

    Flowers of green hawthorn.

    Also known as:

    green hawthorn
    Green hawthorn offers beautiful flowers and fruit and is more disease resistant than other species of hawthorn. The cultivar 'Winter King' is more commonly sold than the species.

    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:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Green-stemmed forsythia (Forsythia viridissima)

    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
  • Groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia)

    A group of groundsel trees in the back of a shrub bed.

    Also known as:

    groundsel-tree; groundsel-bush; groundseltree; eastern baccharis
    Groundsel-tree is a fast-growing, large shrub with stiff, finely densed, spreading branches. Silver-gray foliage turns a purplish-red in fall. Native to southern U.S. coastal areas. Highly salt tolerant. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

    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
  • Hardhack (Spiraea tomentosa (syn. Spiraea tomentosa var rosea))

    Also known as:

    Hardhack, Canada-tea, Steeplebush
    Hardhack or Steeplebush spirea is a colony-forming native shrub found in acidic, boggy areas. Prefers a cool climate in upper Midwest. All parts of plant have a hairy, rusty appearance. Best used in sunny, wet landscapes. Can be purchased through local native plant nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta)

    Immature fruit of hardy kiwi.

    Also known as:

    hardy kiwi, bower actinidia, tara vine
    Hardy kiwi is an ornamental twining vine that also produces edible fruit. The fruit are smaller that the kiwis sold in stores. Fruit production requires a male and a female plant.

    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
  • Hardy kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta)

    Hardy kiwi growing on a trellis.

    Also known as:

    Hardy kiwi, Kolomikta kiwi, Kolomikta actinidia
    The hardy kiwi vine will twist and spiral up any support, but is best placed in a site where it can enjoy partial shade to avoid sun scorch.

    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
  • Hardy rubber-tree (Eucommia ulmoides)

    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
  • Heart-leaved foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

    Flowers and leaves of heart-leaved foamflower.

    Also known as:

    Heart-leaved foamflower, foamflower, foam flower
    This dainty perennial earns its name from the delicate clusters of white flowers that rise above the almost maple-like foliage. This is a good plant for shady gardens.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Heath aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides (syn. Aster ericoides))

    Heath aster produces an abundance of flowers.

    Also known as:

    Heath aster, Dense-flowered aster, Many-flowered aster, Frost-weed aster Tufted white prairie aster, White aster, White wreath aster, Wreath aster
    Heath aster is a native prairie plant that develops neat mounds of graceful, arching flowering stems with narrow leaves and hundreds of small daisy-like white, lavender, or pink flowers in late summer.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Hedge cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lucida)

    Leaves and flower buds of hedge cotoneaster.

    Also known as:

    Hedge cotoneaster, Peking cotoneaster
    Hedge cotoneaster is an upright shrub with spreading branches reaching 8 to 10 feet high. Attractive dark green foliage turns a yellow to red in the fall. Makes an excellent screen or tall hedge. Attractive black fruit persist into winter.

    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
  • Hedge maple (Not recommended) (Acer campestre)

    Leaves of hedge maple.

    Also known as:

    hedge maple, field maple
    Hedge maples have invasive traits that enable them to spread aggressively. While these trees have demonstrated invasive traits, there is insufficient supporting research to declare them so pervasive that they cannot be recommended for any planting sites. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting these trees for planting sites.

    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
  • Hesse cotoneaster (Cotoneaster 'Hessei')

    Leaves and developing fruit of Hesse cotoneaster.

    Also known as:

    Cotoneaster, Hesse cotoneaster
    Hesse cotoneaster is a hybrid between Cotoneaster horizontalis and Cotoneaster adpressus var. praecox. This low-growing cotoneaster was selected by The Morton Arboretum and introduced through the Chicagoland Grows™ introduction program. Hesse cotoneaster makes a wonderful ground cover, draped over a wall, or used in mass.

    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
  • Higan cherry (Prunus subhirtella)

    Spring flowers of the higan cherry.

    Also known as:

    Higan cherry, rosebud cherry, spring cherry
    Higan cherry is a small- to medium-sized tree known for its early pink to white flowers in spring. The weeping form is most popular in the 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
  • Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

    Leaves and immature fruit of highbush blueberry.

    Also known as:

    Highbush blueberry; Swamp blueberry
    Highbush blueberry is an acid-loving, medium-sized shrub for extremely wet sites. Clusters of white urn-shaped spring flowers, edible blue fruit, and reddish fall color add year-round appeal.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America

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