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  • Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana)

    White flower cluster of Wayfaring tree viburnum

    Also known as:

    Wayfaring tree
    Wayfaring tree is a large rounded shrub often used because for its adaptability and reliability. Thick, dark green leaves, white spring flowers, and beautiful clusters of red to yellow to black berries add to the ornamental appeal. Plants often appear ‘leggy,’ so use near the back of the border, in mass, or in groupings. A good plant for naturalizing.

    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
  • White ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus americana)

    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
  • White corydalis (Corydalis ochroleuca)

    Also known as:

    White corydalis, white fumitory

    Native to rocky wooded areas in Europe, this long-blooming perennial produces abundant small white flowers on mounds of semi-evergreen, blue-green foliage.  This plant will reseed easily in moist, partly shaded areas.

    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
  • White fir (Abies concolor)

    Close up of white fir branches.

    Also known as:

    white fir, concolor fir, Colorado fir
    The white fir is a hardy and ornamental North American native evergreen. Its attractive, blue-green needles curve outward and upward on branches and, when crushed, emit a lemon scent. This choice plant tolerates a wide range of conditions, including drought, heat, and cold temperatures.

    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
  • White mulberry (males or fruitless cultivars) (Morus alba)

    Leaves of white mulberry.

    Also known as:

    white mulberry, common mulberry
    White mulberry can be invasive; look for males or fruitless cultivars. It is an aggressive, often weedy tree native to China. It was originally imported for the silkworm industry, but has since naturalized throughout North America in fencerows, abandoned fields and urban areas.

    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
  • White oak (Quercus alba)

    White oak showing fall color.

    Also known as:

    white oak
    White oak is a massive, long-lived stately tree with wide-spreading horizontal branches and wine-red fall color. This native tree provides shade for larger landscapes and parks.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • White poplar (Not recommended) (Populus alba)

    White poplar has a silvery-gray bark.

    Also known as:

    white poplar, silver poplar, silver-leaved poplar
    White poplars 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:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • White Prairie-clover (Dalea candida)

    Also known as:

    White Prairie-clover

    A native of the prairie, this perennial has a distinctive wreath of tiny white flowers around a spike.  The flowers bloom for about a month in early to mid-summer.

    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),
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area
  • White Satin™ birch (Betula 'Madison')

    White bark of White Satin™ birch.

    Also known as:

    White Satin™ birch
    White Satin™ birch is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction. It provides beautiful white bark and good resistance to the bronze birch borer (BBB). This hybrid offers dark green leaves that turn a nice yellow fall color.

    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
  • White snakeroot (Ageratina altissima (syn. Eupatorium rugosum))

    White snakeroot produces white flowers in late summer.

    Also known as:

    White snakeroot
    White snakeroot is an open, smooth-stemmed perennial wildflower reaching 2 to 4 feet high with slightly branched clusters of bright white flowers in late summer and fall. Commonly found in shaded woodlands and naturalized landscapes.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • White spruce (Picea glauca)

    Needles of white spruce.

    Also known as:

    white spruce, Canadian spruce
    White spruce is a large, pyramidal evergreen with aromatic foliage and uniform habit. This popular garden conifer is native to Canada and the northwestern United States. When sited properly white spruce can be a long-lived attractive addition to any landscape.

    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:

    • North America
  • White turtle-head (Chelone glabra)

    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
  • White wild indigo (Baptisia alba)

    White wild indigo in flower.

    Also known as:

    White wild indigo

    White wild indigo are showy plants with upright spikes of white flowers above the foliage in May.  After blooming, it forms brown seed pods that are quite ornamental and hang on the plant through part of the winter.  It grows two to five feet tall and two to three feet wide and is best in full sun, although the white flowered type does better in part 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:

    • North America
  • White willow (Salix alba)

    A mature white willow tree.

    Also known as:

    white willow
    White willow, like other species of willow, is very tolerant of wet sites. It is a fast-growing tree with weak wood that is prone to storm damage. This species is best known for its weeping cultivars ('weeping willows'). This plant has some cultivated varieties.

    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
  • White-forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum)

    White forsythia flowering in spring.

    Also known as:

    White-forsythia, white forsythia, Korean abelialeaf
    The white-forsythia is a small shrub with a rounded to arching habit that is great for specimen planting. Its fragrant, white flowers bloom in early spring. Prune after flowering to promote new stem growth and a fuller plant.

    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
  • Whitespire Senior gray birch (Betula populifolia 'Whitespire')

    Mature specimens of Whitespire Senior gray birch.

    Also known as:

    Whitespire Senior gray birch, Whitespire birch
    This cultivar demonstrates good resistance to bronze birch borer (BBB). The name 'Whitespire' was incorrectly assigned to Betula platyphylla. It is now assigned to Betula populifolia and the plants are often sold under the name 'Whitespire Senior' to avoid confusion.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Whitethorn (Crataegus laevigata)

    Also known as:

    whitethorn, English hawthorn
    Whitethorn or English hawthorn is a small tree that can be utilized under power lines, but it may be difficult to find in nurseries. Typical of hawthorns, this species has white flowers in spring, followed by red fruits. Stems bear one inch long thorns.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Whorled coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)

    Whorled coreopsis, cultivar 'Zagreb'.

    Also known as:

    Whorled coreopsis, Threadleaf coreopsis, Pot-of-gold, Thread leaf coreopsis

    Whorled coreopsis produces a cloud of yellow, daisy-like flowers on top of thread-shaped leaves.  The plant will bloom for most of the summer.  If the plant is deadheaded, it may get a new flush of bloom in September.  More tolerant of dry soils than other coreopsis, if this perennial is planted in relatively loose soil, the plant will spread to form a large clump.  The clumps are bright spots in a dry perennial border or containers.

    This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

     

     

    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:

    • North America
  • Wild blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)

    Leaves of wild blackberry.

    Also known as:

    Wild blackberry; Common blackberry; Allegheny blackberry
    Wild blackberry is a medium-sized shrub growing throughout roadsides, open fields and wood edges. Sweet, spicy edible fruits, attractive fall color and a valuable food source for wildlife.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

    Wild columbine has unusual flowers.

    Also known as:

    Wild columbine, columbine, cluckies, Jack-in-trousers
    Wild columbine is a herbaceous perennial, native to North America. The unusual, spur-shaped, red and yellow flowers hang downward from sparsely branched stems in late spring to early summer. A perfect addition for naturalizing and shady gardens.

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

    Wild geranium has pink flowers in late spring.

    Also known as:

    Wild geranium, cranesbill
    Wild geranium is a native woodland wildflower that can be used as a ground cover in partially shaded sites. It produces pink flowers in spring.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

    Flowers of wild hydrangea.

    Also known as:

    Wild hydrangea, Smooth hydrangea, Sevenbark, Tree hydrangea
    Wild hydrangea is a hardy, adaptable shrub grown for its large, cloud-like clusters of early summer flowers that start out pale green and turn to white then eventually fade to brown adding winter interest to the landscape. Since it flowers on the tips of the new growth its flower buds are not diminished by harsh winters. It is native to woodlands in the eastern U.S. For garden purposes, cultivated varieties are more attractive.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Wild plum (Prunus americana)

    A thicket of wild plums in full flower.

    Also known as:

    wild plum, American red plum, August plum, hog plum
    Wild plum, also called American plum is a small, fast-growing, short-lived, colony-forming native tree, commonly found along fencerows, open fields, and roadsides. Abundant tiny white flowers open before the leaves emerge in spring. Plums appear in late summer.

    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
  • Wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

    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
  • Wild-ginger (Asarum canadense)

    Leaves of wild-ginger.

    Also known as:

    Wild-ginger, wild ginger, Canadian wild ginger
    Wild-ginger is an Illinois native wildflower that can be used as a ground cover. It is known for its hairy, heart-shaped leaves.

    Size Range:

    • 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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)

    Flowers of winter honeysuckle appear in very late winter or early spring.

    Also known as:

    Winter honeysuckle
    Winter honeysuckle is an attractive shrub with early-flowering fragrant flowers. However, under the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, it cannot be sold in Illinois. It is also considered invasive in many areas. The information provided here is more for identification purposes rather than a guide to plant selection. This plant is NOT recommended.

    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
  • Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)

    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
  • Witherod (Viburnum cassinoides)

    Lustrous elliptical leaves and white flowers of Witherod viburnum

    Also known as:

    Witherod, Witherod viburnum, Swamp viburnum, Appalachian tea viburnum, wild raisin
    Witherod viburnum is a large, upright-spreading, suckering shrub, native to North America. It tolerates both shady and wet sites, excellent for naturalizing, shrub borders and woodland sites. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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:

    • North America
  • Woodbine (Lonicera periclymenum)

    Flowers of woodbine, cultivar 'Serotina'.

    Also known as:

    Woodbine, woodbine honeysuckle
    Woodbine is a type of honeysuckle that vines. This species is very fragrant and has flowers that show a mix of yellow, white, and pink.

    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
  • Yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon (syn. Lamium galeobdolon))

    Yellow archangel can have variegated foliage.

    Also known as:

    Yellow archangel, golden dead nettle, silver nettle vine, lamiastrum, false lamium
    Yellow archangel is a ground cover with bright yellow flowers and green foliage marked with silver in some cultivars. It can be a very aggressive grower and so should be sited carefully.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 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

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