Browse Trees and Plants

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  • Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)

    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
  • Summersweet clethra (Clethra alnifolia )

    Flowers of summersweet clethra.

    Also known as:

    Summersweet clethra, Summersweet, Clethra, Sweet Pepperbush
    A wide variety of butterflies and songbirds are attracted to summersweet clethra for its nectar and seeds. Native to the eastern United States, it has lustrous green leaves in the spring, spiky white or pink fragrant flowers during the summer, golden yellow leaves in the fall, and interesting, delicate dried seed capsules in winter to provide exceptional four-season interest.

    Size Range:

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

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii)

    Fall color of swamp chestnut oak.

    Also known as:

    swamp chestnut oak, basket oak
    Swamp chestnut oak may be difficult to find in commercial nurseries, but it may be worth looking for. This species provides dense shade and good red fall color. It may be useful as a parkway tree or as a shade tree in residential yards.

    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
  • Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

    Swamp milkweed has delicate rosy pink flowers.

    Also known as:

    Swamp milkweed
    Swamp milkweed is an erect, clump-forming, native plant commonly found in swamps and wet meadows. An essential plant for wet areas. The rosy pink flowers are a prime source of nectar for many butterflies.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)

    Swamp white oak in fall color.

    Also known as:

    swamp white oak
    Swamp white oak is a striking tree with attractive peeling bark, especially on young trees. The lustrous, lobed leaves have a two-tone appearance, dark green on top with a silvery-white underside. Fall color is an orange-gold to yellow in mid-autumn. An excellent shade tree for any landscape.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora)

    Close up of the flowers of sweet autumn clematis.

    Also known as:

    Sweet autumn clematis
    Sweet autumn clematis is a vine that produces an abundance of small, white flowers in late summer and early autumn. It should be used with care as it is considered invasive in some locations.Also known as Clematis maximowicziana.

    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
  • Sweet birch (Betula lenta )

    Yellow fall color of sweet birch.

    Also known as:

    sweet birch, black birch, cherry birch
    Sweet birch is an attractive tree for lawns and naturalized areas, with shiny, red-brown bark and yellow foliage. Native to the eastern United States, the tree also attracts beautiful butterflies to the landscape, serving as a caterpillar/larval host. This species is resistant to bronze birch borer (BBB).

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Sweet mock-orange (Philadelphus coronarius)

    Leaves of sweet mock-orange.

    Also known as:

    Sweet mock-orange; sweet mockorange; mockorange; fragrant mock-orange
    Sweet mock-orange is a large, upright growing shrub with delightfully sweet, fragrant white flowers in early summer. An excellent shrub to use as a backdrop for smaller shrubs.

    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
  • Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)

    Sweet woodruff in flower.

    Also known as:

    Sweet woodruff, bedstraw, sweet-scented bedstraw, woodruff
    Sweet woodruff is a delicate-looking ground cover with tiny white flowers in spring. When crushed, the foliage has the smell of newly mown hay.

    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
  • Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina)

    Sweet-fern leaves and fruit.

    Also known as:

    Sweet-fern, Sweetfern
    Sweet-fern is a colony-forming, small shrub with wonderfully aromatic fern-like leaves. This shrub is a useful selection in the landscape for erosion control and naturalizing, due to its tolerance of adverse conditions. It is adaptable to poor, infertile soil and is also drought, salt, and heat resistant.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Sweet-gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

    Sweet-gum has brilliant fall color.

    Also known as:

    sweet-gum, American sweet-gum, sweet gum, sweetgum
    Sweet-gum is known for its unique star-shaped leaves with outstanding yellow, red, and purple fall color. It can be an excellent shade tree in the right location, away from foot traffic where the spiky "gumball" fruits will not be an annoyance. If an appropriate space is available, check out the cold-hardy cultivar, 'Moraine', which is recommended for northern Illinois.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)

    Leaves and flowers of sweetbay magnolia.

    Also known as:

    sweetbay magnolia, laurel magnolia, swamp magnolia
    Sweetbay magnolia is a late blooming tree native to the eastern United States. It has fragrant, creamy-white flowers and glossy, dark green leaves with silvery undersides. This small tree is an excellent choice near patios, wood edges, and shrub borders. It is also tolerant to wet sites, such as pond edges and low areas in a landscape.

    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:

    • North America
  • Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra)

    Branches and cone of Swiss stone pine.

    Also known as:

    Swiss stone pine, arolla pine
    Swiss stone pine is a dense, narrow pyramidal evergreen tree that provides dark green color in the landscape. Native to the mountains of Europe and Asia. A picturesque evergreen for the smaller landscape.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Switch grass (Panicum virgatum)

    A group of switch grass going to seed.

    Also known as:

    Switch grass, Blackwell switch grass, switchgrass, panic grass
    Switch grass is one of the grasses of the tallgrass prairie and is native to much of North America. When in seed, the plant has a light airy appearance despite its tall stature.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis )

    A mature sycamore in winter.

    Also known as:

    sycamore, buttonwood, American planetree, buttonball tree
    The sycamore is a grand, stately shade tree for a larger site. It has broad green leaves but is most recognizable by its peeling bark, with patches of white and gray. Native to the Chicago region, sycamores have very high wildlife value, attracting a wide range of birds that use the tree for many purposes.

    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
  • Sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

    Esk Sunset has beautiful colored leaves.

    Also known as:

    sycamore maple, planetree maple
    Sycamore maple can be used as a street tree and as a shade tree. The dangling clusters of small yellow flowers are slightly showy in spring. This non-native species provides no fall 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
  • Tamarack (Larix laricina)

    Needles of the tamarack.

    Also known as:

    tamarack, eastern larch
    Tamarack is a beautiful native conifer that loses its needles in fall. It is native to the Chicago region, but is on the list of threatened plants for the state of Illinois. It is commonly found in wet, swampy or boggy locations, but can grow in other locations as long as soil moisture is consistent. This tree looks good through many seasons.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Tamarix (Tamarix ramosissima)

    Also known as:

    Tamarisk, Salt Cedar, Saltcedar, Tamarix
    Tamarix is a large shrub or small tree found in wetlands. This Eurasian shrub is on many invasive lists and should not be planted.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet),
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Tea viburnum (Viburnum setigerum)

    White, slightly fragrant flowers of tea viburnum

    Also known as:

    Tea viburnum
    One of the best fruiting viburnums, this little known viburnum produces bright red fruit clusters, white spring flowers and muted red fall color. A good plant for sun or shade reaching 8 to 12 feet high and 6 to 10 feet wide. May be difficult to find in nursery trade.

    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
  • Thornless cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis)

    Flowers and thornless stems of thornless cockspur hawthorn.

    Also known as:

    thornless cockspur hawthorn
    This variety of cockspur hawthorn has thornless stems. It displays beautiful white flowers in spring and persistent fruit in fall and winter.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Thornless honey-locust (Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis)

    Foliage of thornless honey-locust

    Also known as:

    thornless honey-locust, common honey-locust, honeylocust, thornless honeylocust
    The light, dappled shade cast by the lacy foliage of this attractive tree is only one of its virtues. It also is durable and adaptable; as a result, honey locust is overused in city and suburban landscapes. For the sake of species diversity, it should only be planted after careful consideration of alternatives.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Thread-leaved giant-hyssop (Agastache rupestris)

    Also known as:

    Thread-leaved giant-hyssop, Thread-leaf giant hyssop, Licorice mint, Rock Anise hussop
    Thread-leaved giant-hyssop is a striking, hardy perennial with slender, branched, gray-green foliage and rosy-orange tubular flowers.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Three-flowered maple (Acer triflorum)

    Leaves of three-flowered maple.

    Also known as:

    three-flowered maple, shaggy-barked maple, three flower maple, three-flower maple, threeflowered maple
    The shaggy peeling bark and glorious yellow, orange, and red fall foliage make up for the inconspicuous nature of this ornamental tree's namesake flowers. Three-flowered maple is a fine specimen tree for gardens, with a habit that can be upright or spreading.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Thunberg's onion (Allium thunbergii)

    Thunberg's onion, cultivar Ozawa.

    Also known as:

    Thunberg's onion, Japanese onion, Thunberg's allium
    Thunberg's onion is a compact, clump-forming, perennial bulb that adds seasonal interest in the late fall garden. Clusters of lavender-pink flowers open above the grass-like foliage in late summer blooming into fall when the leaves turn a rusty orange color.

    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
  • Trailing juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)

    Icee Blue trailing juniper

    Also known as:

    Trailing juniper, creeping juniper, ground cover juniper
    Trailing juniper is a low shrub or ground cover-type evergreen, native to North America. It can be especially attractive trailing over ledges or retaining walls and very useful on slopes. Junipers are cold-hardy, durable and adaptable plants that can bring year-round color to a dry, alkaline, or windy site.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet),
    • 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),
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Tree of heaven (Not recommended) (Ailanthus altissima)

    Tree of heaven, a weedy tree, producing seeds.

    Also known as:

    tree of heaven, paradise tree
    Tree of heaven 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. Tree of heaven is an aggressive grower and produces a lot of suckers. It is generally not recommended for landscapes.

    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
  • Trident maple (Acer buergerianum)

    Also known as:

    trident maple, Chinese maple, threetooth maple
    Trident maple is a medium-sized tree that can be used as a street tree or specimen. The trident-shaped leaves turn shades of red and orange in autumn.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • TRIUMPH™ elm (Ulmus 'Morton Glossy')

    A mature specimen of TRIUMPH™ elm.

    Also known as:

    TRIUMPH™ elm
    The TRIUMPH™ elm has very good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and is resistant to elm yellows; it also has good resistance to elm leaf beetle. It is easily transplanted, quick to establish, and adaptable to most soil types. Large, lustrous, dark green summer foliage gives way to yellow fall color. Useful for home and commercial landscapes or parks or as street tree.

    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
  • Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)

    Flowers of trumpet honeysuckle.

    Also known as:

    Trumpet honeysuckle, coral honeysuckle, scarlet honeysuckle
    Trumpet honeysuckle is native to North America, mostly in southern states. This vine is vigorous, but not aggressive like some species of honeysuckle. It produces clusters of bright red flowers in spring.

    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:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)

    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

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