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  • 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
  • Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima)

    Mature specimen of Chinese chestnut.

    Also known as:

    Chinese chestnut
    Chinese chestnut is resistant to chestnut blight which has almost wiped out the American chestnut. This non-native species produces spikes of creamy white flowers in summer. The edible nuts develop in sharp, spiny husks.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chinese fringetree (Chionanthus retusus)

    Habit of Chinese fringetree.

    Also known as:

    Chinese fringetree
    Chinese fringetree is a beautiful multi-stemmed shrub to small tree, very similar in appearance to our native species with exfoliating, gray-brown bark. In mid-spring, erect clusters of fragrant, white flowers are quite showy. Female plants produce dark purple fruits in late summer. The dark green, leathery leaves turn a soft yellow in fall.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis)

    A mature specimen of Chinese juniper.

    Also known as:

    Chinese juniper
    Chinese juniper is a durable, adaptable evergreen tree or shrub that can bring year-round color, structure and screening to a dry, alkaline or windy site. A wide variety of cultivated varieties are available for garden and landscape use that range from trees to shrubs down to ground covers. Because they are quite salt-tolerant, they can be used near roads, driveways and sidewalks.

    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),
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chinese leptodermis (Leptodermis oblonga)

    Also known as:

    Chinese leptodermis, leptodermis
    Chinese leptodermis is a tidy, dwarf, 1- to 2-foot-high, mounding shrub used at the front of the border or in a rock garden. The showy clusters of violet tubular flowers are fragrant and bloom late spring and intermittent into fall. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet),
    • 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
  • Chinese lilac (Syringa x chinensis)

    Also known as:

    Chinese lilac, Rouen lilac
    Chinese lilac is an upright to rounded shrub with arching branches, a more finely-textured hybrid of common lilac. The highly fragrant lavender-purple flower are long-blooming and attract butterflies.

    Size Range:

    • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis)

    A group of miscanthus in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Chinese silver grass, Japanese silver grass, eulalia, maiden grass
    Chinese silver grass is known by many names, including maiden grass, eulalia, Japanese silver grass, and miscanthus. It has been used widely in many landscapes and a great number of cultivars have been developed. Of the numerous cultivars, most are hardy to zone 5 , while some are hardy to zone 4. This grass should be used with caution. In some parts of the United States, this grass has spread into natural areas by seeding and is considered invasive in those areas.. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this grass.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chinese white-stemmed raspberry (Rubus cockburnianus)

    Chinese white-stemmed raspberry, whole shrub.

    Also known as:

    Chinese white-stemmed raspberry, white-stemmed raspberry
    Chinese white-stemmed raspberry is a suckering ornamental shrub valued for its showy silvery-white, arching and thorny stems, especially in winter. Spring pinkish-purple flowers, dark green foliage, and purple-black aggregate fruit add additional interest in a sunny wood edge garden. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)

    Chinese wisteria growing on a fence.

    Also known as:

    Chinese wisteria
    Chinese wisteria is a beautiful vine in flower, but it is an aggressive grower and is considered invasive in some areas, especially in the southern United States. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this vine for planting sites.

    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
  • Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis)

    Leaves of Chinese witch-hazel.

    Also known as:

    Chinese witch-hazel, witch hazel, witch-hazel, witchhazel
    In very early spring, before the leaves unfurl, Chinese witch-hazel blooms a deep yellow with a tinge of red on strap-like, crinkled flowers. Flowers have a spicy-scented fragrance. The new foliage is yellowish-green, deepening to medium green over the summer and turning buttery yellow in fall.

    Size Range:

    • 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:

    • Non-native
  • Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

    Leaves and acorns of chinkapin oak.

    Also known as:

    Chinkapin oak, Chinquapin oak, yellow chestnut oak, yellow oak, rock oak
    Chinkapin oak is native to the Midwest, where it is often found as a specimen planting or as a grouping of tree for parks and large areas. Chinkapin oaks perform well in alkaline soils. Young trees retain a pyramidal to oval habit with a pale gray, scaly ridged central trunk. As trees age, the crown becomes more rounded.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

    Chives beginning to flower, cultivar Forescate.

    Also known as:

    Chive, Chives, Wild chives
    Chives is a perennial bulb often grown as an herb for its edible leaves. The dense clusters of light pink to purplish white flowers have a honey-scent and add ornamental interest to the summer garden.

    Size Range:

    • 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:

    • Non-native
  • Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)

    Climbing hydrangea on a stone wall.

    Also known as:

    Climbing hydrangea
    Climbing hydrangea is a woody vine that clings and climbs by attaching itself with tiny rootlets to a wall, trellis or other support. In early July, it has flat, lacy clusters of fragrant small white flowers that show up well against the glossy green leaves. Also known as Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Clove currant (Ribes odoratum (syn. Ribes aureum var villosum))

    Spring flowers of clove currant.

    Also known as:

    Clove currant, buffalo currant, Missouri currant, golden currant
    An irregularly shaped, loosely branched, native shrub reaching 6 to 8 feet high. In springtime the bright yellow flowers smell like cloves.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata)

    The flowers of clustered bellflower.

    Also known as:

    Clustered bellflower, Danesblood bellflower

    Clustered purple flowers form on upright, hairy stems in summer, lasting two to three weeks.  The plant forms open clumps by spreading underground by rhizome.  Best used in informal areas as it can be an aggressive spreader.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli)

    Cockspur hawthorn in full flower.

    Also known as:

    cockspur hawthorn
    Cockspur hawthorn is a Chicago-area native that provides beautiful flowers in spring and persistent fruit in fall and winter. This species should be used with care as it has long thorns and is prone to disease. White flowers in the spring, persistent red fruit, and the orange-red fall color of this Midwestern native make it a nice addition to the four-season landscape.

    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
  • COMMENDATION™ elm (Ulmus 'Morton Stalwart')

    COMMENDATION™ elm showing fall color.

    Also known as:

    COMMENDATION™ elm
    This fast-growing cultivar is extremely tolerant of drought and cold. The COMMENDATION™ elm is resistant to Dutch elm disease (DED) but moderately susceptible to insect problems, notably elm leaf beetle, Japanese beetle, and gypsy moth. Use along streets and in large yards. The Morton Arboretum introduced this cultivar through Chicagoland Grows®.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)

    Common bleeding heart

    Also known as:

    Common bleeding heart, bleeding heart
    Common bleeding heart is an early-blooming perennial for shady sites. The delicate, pink heart-shaped flowers hang on long arching stems.

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

    Specimen of common boxwood, cultivar 'Schmidt'.

    Also known as:

    Common boxwood, box, common box
    Common boxwood is a broadly rounded evergreen shrub or small tree. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa found in open woodlands and rocky hillsides. A popular ornamental evergreen used as hedges, borders and topiary. Named because wood was popular for making boxes and cabinets.

    Size Range:

    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
    • 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),
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common buckthorn (Illegal to sell in Illinois) (Rhamnus cathartica)

    Leaves and fruit of common buckthorn.

    Also known as:

    Common buckthorn, buckthorn, European buckthorn, rhine berry
    Common buckthorn is an invasive plant in Illinois and should not be planted. It forms dense thickets and reproduces very freely, crowding out other plants and disrupting ecosystems in forest preserves and other natural areas. In woodlands it can completely replace existing understory plants, including native wildflowers. Under the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, buckthorn cannot be sold in Illinois.

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

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

    Flowers of common chokecherry.

    Also known as:

    Common chokecherry, Virginia bird cherry, bitter cherry
    A large deciduous shrub or small, 20-foot-high, understory tree often forming a dense colony. Slender twigs form a oval to rounded crown. Clusters of drooping white flowers are followed by dark purple fruit. Native throughout most of the United States but difficult to find in the nursery trade. Susceptible to many insect and disease problems.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

    Leaves and flowers of common elderberry.

    Also known as:

    Common elderberry, elderberry
    Common elderberry is a large multi-stemmed, native shrub with showy white flower clusters in mid-summer followed by juicy, blue-black fruits. Plants are coarse and best used for naturalizing or as a back of the border hedge. Also known as Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common fig (Ficus carica)

    Also known as:

    Common fig
    Common fig is a medium to large shrub or small compact tree reaching 10 to 12 feet high. Will die back to the ground in northern climates if not winter protected. Large course leaves and edible fruit add summer interest. Can be grown in containers.

    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
  • Common flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)

    Flowers of common flowering quince, cultivar "Toyo-Nishiki'.

    Also known as:

    Common flowering quince, flowering quince
    Common flowering quince is a tall, deciduous shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high. Shiny, dark green leaves appear before the scarlet-red flowers emerge in spring. Dense tangles of stems have spiny thorns, best used as a hedge, back of the border or in mass. Edible fruit is used to make jam and jellies.

    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
  • Common hop (Humulus lupulus)

    Foliage of common hops, cultivar 'Aurea'.

    Also known as:

    Common hop, European hop
    Common hop is the plant used to flavor beer, but it can also be an ornamental vine for the garden.

    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,
    • Illinois,
    • Non-native,
    • North America
  • Common juniper (Juniperus communis)

    Close up of the needles of common juniper.

    Also known as:

    Common juniper
    The common juniper may be a shrub or small tree. This is one of the most commonly found junipers throughout the world. It's typically found in dry, rocky, wooded hillsides or exposed slopes. The oil from the fleshy cones is used as flavoring and to make gin.

    Size Range:

    • 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)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

    Fragrant purple flowers of common lilac

    Also known as:

    Common lilac, lilac, English lilac, French lilac
    The common lilac is an old-fashioned, long-lived, and well-loved lilac best known for its fragrant flowers. It is extremely hardy and thrives with little care which make it a lovely shrub for a specimen planting, in masses, screens, hedges, or mixed in shrub borders.

    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
  • Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

    Extremely fragrant flowers of common milkweed

    Also known as:

    Common milkweed
    Common milkweed is a butterfly magnet and an important plant for the monarch butterfly eggs and larvae. This aggressive, native spreader reaches 3 to 5 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide and will grow in thickets, woodland borders, fields, fence rows, and areas along railroads and roadsides.

    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,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Common morning glory (ANNUAL VINE) (Ipomoea purpurea)

    Flowers of common morning glory

    Also known as:

    Common monring glory
    Common morning glory is a well-loved annual vine that produces an abundance of colorful flowers from mid-summer into autumn. Numerous cultivars are available as seeds.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native

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