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  • Bridal wreath (Spiraea vanhouttei)

    Bridal wreath spirea in flower.

    Also known as:

    Bridal wreath spirea, Vanhoutt's spirea, Vanhoutte spirea
    A large, old-fashioned shrub with arching, fountain-like stems. Very showy clusters of white flowers appear along the branches and brighten a spring landscape. Best used en masse, at the back of a shrub border, or as a screen.

    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
  • Bristly locust (Robinia hispida)

    Flowers and leaves of bristly locust.

    Also known as:

    bristly locust; rose acacia; roseacacia locust
    Bristly locust is an upright, suckering shrub used to stabilize slopes. The purplish-pink pendulous flowers, blue-green foliage, bristle seed pods add seasonal interest. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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
  • Brown's honyesuckle (Lonicera x brownii)

    Brown's honeysuckle, cultivar Dropmore Scarlet, in flower.

    Also known as:

    Brown's honeysuckle, scarlet trumpet honeysuckle
    Brown's honeysuckle is a hybrid that produces tubular red flowers for most of the growing season.

    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
  • Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides)

    Buffalograss used as a lawn.

    Also known as:

    Buffalograss
    Buffalograss is native to the western areas of the tallgrass prairie. It is sometimes listed as native to the Chicago region, but it is thought to be introduced from further west. This is a low-growing, warm season, running grass.

    Size Range:

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

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Bugbane (Actaea racemosa (syn. Cimicifuga racemosa))

    Bugbane in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Bugbane, Black snakeroot, Black bugbane, Black cohosh, Deerweed, Feather Wands, rattleroot, rattleweed, Squaw root, Summer rockets, Swan's neck Virginia snakeroot
    Bugbane is a low maintenance, shade-tolerant perennial with late season spikes of white flower on tall wiry stems. It creates a great vertical accent for a shade garden, perennial border or along a pond edge.

    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:

    • North America
  • Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

    Bugleweed in flower.

    Also known as:

    Bugleweed, carpet bugleweed, ajuga
    The low, dense spreading habit of bugleweed makes an excellent ground cover for part-shade or shady areas.

    Size Range:

    • 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
  • Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

    Also known as:

    Bunchberry, dwarf cornel, creeping dogwood
    Bunchberry is native in the far northern portions of the United States, but is rare in Illinois. It is a beautiful ground cover with flowers that resemble those of flowering dogwood. Its need for acid soils may limit its use in Illinois.

    Size Range:

    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

    A mature bur oak tree.

    Also known as:

    bur oak
    The stately bur oak, native to the Midwest, is a great choice as a shade tree and for specimen plantings in parks, spacious yards, and other large 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
  • Burkwood's daphne (Daphne x burkwoodii)

    Flowers and leaves of Burkwood's Daphne, cultivar 'Carol Mackie'.

    Also known as:

    Burkwood's daphne, burkwood daphne
    Burkwood's daphne is a semi-evergreen shrub for sandy, well-drained soils. The wide-spreading, 3- to 4-foot high shrub is grown for its extremely fragrant flower clusters in May. This plant will suffer in cold winters and should be located in a protected site. The cultivar 'Carol Mackie' is a popular variegated form. May be difficult to find in local nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Burning bush (Not recommended) (Euonymus alatus)

    Burning bush in fall color.

    Also known as:

    Burning bush; burningbush; burning-bush; winged euonymus
    Burning bush is a popular large shrub common in yards and gardens throughout North America. This Asian shrub is invasive and should not be planted. It is known for its bright red fall color. It has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This shrub is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future.

    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
  • Bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

    Bush-honeysuckle in flower.

    Also known as:

    Bush-honeysuckle, Dwarf bushhoneysuckle, bush honeysuckle
    Bush-honeysuckle is a low-growing, spreading, native shrub providing yellow flowers for several weeks in early summer. Reddish young stems is 4-sided, contrasting with dark green leaves.

    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
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)

    Butterfly bush in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Butterfly bush, summer lilac
    A long-blooming shrub or woody perennial with dense clusters of fragrant flowers, butterfly bush attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Often considered a sub-shrub because it dies back to the ground. A great addition to sunny borders and dry open gardens. Also known as Buddleia davidii.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

    Orange flowers of butterfly weed

    Also known as:

    Butterfly weed, Butterfly milkweed, Butterfly plant, Pleurisy Root
    Butterfly weed, like other milkweeds is a nectar source for many species of butterflies, giving it its common name. It is also a caterpillar and larva host for the monarch butterfly, which may blend in with the abundant clusters of vibrant orange flowers that cover the tops of theses perennial plants in summer. Butterfly weed is native to prairies and glades in the Chicago area and the Midwest.

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Butternut (Not recommended) (Juglans cinerea)

    Butternuts.

    Also known as:

    butternut, white walnut
    Due to susceptibility to butternut canker, butternuts are not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. Butternut, also called white walnut, is a native tree found throughout the Midwest in moist, well-drained soils. Butternut canker, an introduced fungus, has killed off many native stands of butternut. The tree is related to black walnut and is also allelopathic. The wood is prized for the wood and the fruit produces a yellow dye that was used in the Civil War to color uniforms.

    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
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis )

    The ball-shaped flower clusters of buttonbush.

    Also known as:

    Buttonbush
    Buttonbush is great shrub for naturalizing in wet areas. The glossy green leaves and fragrant, round flower clusters during mid-summer attract butterflies. Round, persistent fruits add to winter interest. Native to Chicago area and eastern U.S.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Callery pear (Not recommended) (Pyrus calleryana)

    Callery pear in flower.

    Also known as:

    Callery pear
    Callery pear 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. The various cultivars of this species are more commonly available than the species itself. Callery pear has a weak wood and branch structure and is 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:

    • Non-native
  • Canada anemone (Anemone canadensis)

    Canada anemone growing in a group.

    Also known as:

    Canada anemone, meadow anemone, round-headed anemone, crowfoot anemone
    Canada anemone, also known as meadow anemone is a fast spreading, colony-forming, North American native perennial found growing in moist meadows, along wet wood edges, and along stream banks. Attractive, spring-blooming, white flowers have showy yellow center stamens on long, stalked branches.

    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
  • Canada serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)

    Hedge of Canada serviceberry in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Canada serviceberry, Canada shadbush, thicket serviceberry, Juneberry, shadblow serviceberry, shadblow, shadbush, shadbush serviceberry, sugarplum, Thicket Serviceberry)
    This large deciduous shrub or small tree, with many colony-forming erect stems, is often found growing in swampy, wet sites in eastern North America. In yards and landscapes in the Midwest, Canada serviceberry is best suited for wet sites. It has white blooms in early spring followed by oval green leaves and edible red fruit, attractive to birds, in mid to late summer. The fall color is orange-red.

    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
  • Canada wild rye (Elymus canadensis)

    Seed heads of Canada wild rye.

    Also known as:

    Canada wild rye, Great Plains wild rye, nodding wild rye, Canada lyme grass
    Canada wild rye is a native grass that was part of the tallgrass prairie. It is a cool season, clumping grass, best used in areas where naturalizing is desirable as it has a tendency to self seed.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Canadian buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis)

    Leaves of Canada buffaloberry.

    Also known as:

    Russet buffaloberry; Canada buffaloberry; Soapberry; Rabbitberry
    Canadian buffaloberry is a rare Illinois native. A medium-sized shrub with attractive dark green leaves with a silvery underside. Tiny yellow flowers produce red berries. It is not tolerant of summer heat. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 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
  • Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

    Candytuft produces masses of white flowers.

    Also known as:

    Candytuft, evergreen candytuft, edging candytuft, perennial candytuft
    Candytuft is a semi-evergreen to evergreen ground cover that produces masses of white flowers in late spring and early summer.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Cardinal climber (ANNUAL VINE) (Ipomoea x multifida)

    Red flowers of cardinal climber.

    Also known as:

    Cardinal climber, cardinal vine
    Cardinal climber or cardinal vine is an annual vine with bright red tubular flowers and cut foliage. It is very attractive to hummingbirds.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus )

    The unusual flower of Carolina allspice.

    Also known as:

    Carolina-Allspice, Carolina Allspice, Common Sweetshrub, Sweetshrub, Spicebush
    Carolina allspice is a dense, rounded shrub reaching 6 to 9 feet high. It has unusual, strap-like, maroon to reddish-brown flowers with a sweet banana-strawberry fragrance. Fruit is a persistent, urn-shape brown seed pod.

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

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Catawba rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense)

    Flowers and leaves of catawba rhododendron.

    Also known as:

    Catawba rhododendron, catabaw rosebay, mountain rosebay
    Catawba rhododendron is a large-leaved, evergreen shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high with large, lilac-purple flowers borne in clusters (trusses) in mid-to late spring. Excellent for shade gardens or in a sheltered site. Requires well-drained, acidic soils. Native to southeastern United States.

    Size Range:

    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Cayuga viburnum (Viburnum 'Cayuga')

    Pink in bud opening white, flowers of Cayuga viburnum

    Also known as:

    Cayuga viburnum
    Cayuga viburnum is a hybrid cross between Korean spice viburnum and fragrant snowball viburnum, selected for its large, fragrant flower clusters.

    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
  • Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

    Lavender-blue flower spikes of chastetree

    Also known as:

    Chaste tree
    The chaste tree, which is really a shrub, is a good choice for the shrub border or as a specimen. The upright clusters of lavender-blue, summer-blooming flowers and aromatic gray-green leaves attract butterflies. In northern region, chaste tree should be cut to ground in early spring.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chestnut oak (Quercus montana)

    Summer foliage of chestnut oak.

    Also known as:

    chestnut oak, basket oak, rock oak
    Chestnut oak is native to the far southern edge of Illinois but is hardy in the northern part of the state. Fall color varies from red to orange to yellow-brown.

    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
  • CHINA SNOW™ Peking lilac (Syringa pekinensis 'Morton')

    CHINA SNOW™ Peking lilac in full flower.

    Also known as:

    CHINA SNOW™ Peking lilac
    CHINA SNOW™ Peking lilac is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction that is both hardy and beautiful, with attractive, exfoliating, amber-colored bark and rounded habit. It is a dependable urban tree and a great choice even for parking lot, boulevard, and parkway plantings.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Chinese astilbe (Astilbe chinensis)

    The cultivar 'Visions' in full flower

    Also known as:

    Chinese astilbe,False spirea
    Chinese astilbe is a clump-forming perennial with deep green, fern-like foliage and narrow sprays of upright flowers. Young leaves can be copper colored and quite showy. Excellent for mass planting in shady areas. Although it performs best in part-shade with uniformly moist soils, it is more tolerant of dry soil than other astilbes.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
    • 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
  • Chinese catalpa (Catalpa ovata)

    Leaves and fruit of Chinese catalpa.

    Also known as:

    Chinese catalpa, yellow catalpa
    The Chinese catalpa thrives in Midwestern urban environments. It has showy blossoms that appear in the spring, followed by bean-like seed pods. This tree can withstand a range of soil types, including wet and dry conditions, which makes it useful in difficult sites such as moist low spots and dry sites with poor soils.

    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:

    • Non-native

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