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  • 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
  • Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

    Yellow birch's shiny, dark bark.

    Also known as:

    yellow birch
    Yellow birch, an Illinois native, has a silvery bronze bark that peels into small strips. Fall color is yellow. This species some resistance to bronze birch borer.

    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
  • Yellow buckeye (Aesculus flava)

    Yellow buckeye starting to develop fall color.

    Also known as:

    yellow buckeye, sweet buckeye
    Buckeyes are known for their flower displays in May; yellow buckeyes are no exception. This Illinois native produces yellow flowers in upright clusters measuring up to 6 inches tall. In fall, the leaves display a yellow-orange color. It is susceptible to leaf blotch and may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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
  • Yellow corydalis (Corydalis lutea)

    Yellow corydalis in flower.

    Also known as:

    Yellow corydalis, yellow fumitory, golden fumeroot

    A lacy mound of blue-green foliage is covered with yellow blooms for several months starting in May.  This woodland plant looks great in semi-shaded rock gardens and will replant itself in nooks and crannies around your yard.  The foliage is semi-evergreen.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima)

    Also known as:

    Yellowroot
    Yellowroot is a small woody perennial forming a dense carpet that reaches 1 to 3 feet high. This east coast native is found in damp woods, stream banks and wet depressions. The best feature is the yellow to red to purple fall color.

    Size Range:

    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet),
    • 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:

    • North America
  • Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)

    Yellowwood in flower.

    Also known as:

    Yellowwood, American yellowwood
    Choose a yellowwood tree for excellent shade in a small- to medium-sized landscape. Note that the branches of the yellowwood are highly susceptible to ice storm damage.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)

    Also known as:

    Yucca, Adam's needle yucca, Adam's needle, Spanish bayonet
    Yucca is a drought-tolerant shrub with stemless, stiff evergreen leaves that end in a narrow point. In late spring a 3- to 6-foot stalk appears with cluster of white, bell-shaped flowers.

    Size Range:

    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet),
    • 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

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