Browse Trees and Plants

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  • European wild-ginger (Asarum europaeum)

    Leaves of European wild-ginger.

    Also known as:

    European wild-ginger, European wild ginger
    European wild-ginger is a colonizing ground cover that looks similar to the native species, except for having smooth rather than hairy leaves.

    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
  • EXCLAMATION!™ London planetree (Platanus acerifolia 'Morton Circle')

    EXCLAMATION!™ London planetree has attractive mottled bark.

    Also known as:

    EXCLAMATION!™ London planetree
    The EXCLAMATION!™ London planetree is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction that is resistant to anthracnose and frost cracking. It is a large tree with beautiful peeling bark.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Fall bugbane (Actaea simplex)

    Fall bugbane has spikes of white flowers in the late summer.

    Also known as:

    Fall bugbane, Kamchatka bugbane
    Fall bugbane is a late blooming perennial with mounds of lacy, shiny leaves that send up 4 to 5 foot high flower spikes of fragrant, white flowers. A great plant for shady moist sites.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • False aster (Boltonia asteroides)

    Also known as:

    False aster, boltonia, false chamomile, white boltonia, white doll's daisy

    False aster produces large numbers of daisy-like white to pale lavender flowers late in the summer.  The attractive foliage is blue-green.  Easily grown in full sun and moist soils, false aster can tolerate a variety of conditions.  Useful in naturalized areas or the back of perennial beds.

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

     

    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
  • False indigo (Baptisia hybrids)

    Also known as:

    False indigo, Baptisia, Atlantic wild indigo, largeleaf wild indigo, large-leaved wild indigo, prairie indigo

    False indigo is an attractive, shrubby perennial that blooms in late spring in colors of yellow, blue or purple.  Plants emerge in the spring looking like black asparagus shoots.  The shoots elongate into large, rounded, shrub-like plants with gray-green leaves and dark stems.  Once the flowers have finished blooming, they form attractive, black seed pods which remain on the plant for winter interest.  A tough, drought-tolerant perennial, these plants work beautifully all year to provide structure and color in the garden.  Many interesting hybrids have been developed due to breeding efforts

    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
  • False-spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)

    Flowers of false-spirea.

    Also known as:

    False-Spirea, false spirea, ash-leaf spirea, ural false spirea
    False-spirea is a dense, colony-forming, suckering shrub best used for naturalizing, erosion control. Large, showy clusters of tiny white flowers appear in mid-summer. The large compound leaves open on arching stems, unfolding with a reddish tinge gradually changing to a deep green. 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:

    • Non-native
  • Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora)

    A group of feather-reed grass in flower.

    Also known as:

    Feather reed grass
    Feather reed grass is a hybrid of non-native grasses. It is a cool season grass that offers a very narrow, upright habit and interest in winter. It is a clumping grass.

    Size Range:

    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • February daphne (Daphne mezereum)

    Flowers of February daphne.

    Also known as:

    February daphne; mezereon; paradise-plant, spurge laurel, garland flower
    February daphne is a dense, rounded shrub with highly fragrant rosy-lilac flowers in early spring. Small red fruit appear later in the summer. A plant for well-drained soils only, may be short-lived.

    Size Range:

    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)

    Firethorn shrub covered with fruit.

    Also known as:

    firethorn; scarlet firethorn
    Firethorn is a semi-evergreen shrub with shiny leaves that remain long into winter, white spring flowers, and brilliant orange berries in the fall. Plants can be unruly if not pruned regularly.

    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
  • Five-leaved akebia (Akebia quinata)

    Leaves of five-leaved akebia.

    Also known as:

    Five-leaved akebia, chocolate vine
    Five-leaved akebia is a vigorous vine and may grow aggressively enough that it needs to be controlled. Akebia has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This plant 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 vine for planting sites.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Florida corkwood (Leitneria floridana)

    Also known as:

    Florida corkwood, corkwood
    Corkwood is a rare colony-forming shrub (occasionally tree) found in wet areas along the coast of Florida and Texas. The elliptical leaves are leathery and remain late into the fall. An interesting choice for wet areas. May be difficult to find in the nursery trade.

    Size Range:

    • Small tree (15-25 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:

    • North America
  • Flowering almond (Prunus triloba)

    Spring flowers of flowering almond.

    Also known as:

    Flowering almond, flowering plum, rose tree of China
    Flowering almond is a large shrub or small tree with bright pink flowers. The double flowering form is more popular in the nursery trade.

    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
  • Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)

    Flowering dogwood in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Flowering dogwood
    Flowering dogwood is a small to medium woodland understory tree, native throughout most of the eastern United States. Showy white, red or pink flowering bracts appear before the leaves in early spring. Dark green summer foliage turns a brilliant reddish purple in fall. It is sensitive to adverse soil and environmental conditions such as road salt and pollution.

    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:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

    Hardy fountain grass in full flower.

    Also known as:

    Fountain grass, hardy fountain grass
    Fountain grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides, is a non-native grass used for its mounded habit and brush-like flower spikes. There are different species of fountain grass. Some are hardy in the Chicago region and some are not. P. alopecuroides is hardy in the Chicago region and is sometimes referred to as hardy fountain grass.

    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
  • Fox Valley™ river birch (Betula nigra 'Little King')

    Mature specimen of Fox Valley™ river birch.

    Also known as:

    Fox Valley™ river birch
    The Fox Valley™ river birch is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction that demonstrates resistance to bronze birch borer (BBB). It is a dense, compact tree with glossy green leaves and exfoliating bark.

    Size Range:

    • Compact tree (10-15 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum)

    Foxtail barley in flower.

    Also known as:

    Foxtail barley, squirrel-tail grass
    Foxtail barley is a grass native to much of Illinois. This short grass tolerates a wide range of tough conditions. It should be used with care as it readily self-seeds and can become weedy.

    Size Range:

    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Fragrant snowball (Viburnum x carlcephalum)

    Flowers of fragrant snowball viburnum.

    Also known as:

    Fragrant snowball, Carlcephalum viburnum
    Fragrant snowball viburnum is a large, open shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high. It is one of the last of the very fragrant, snowball-shaped flowers to bloom in spring. The dark oval green leaves turn a beautiful reddish-purple in the fall.

    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
  • Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica )

    Leaves of fragrant sumac.

    Also known as:

    Fragrant Sumac, Aromatic Sumac
    Fragrant sumac is a low growing shrub forming a thick, dense mass of stems. Use as a ground cover, in mass, and an excellent shrub for stabilizing banks and slopes. The glossy, blue-green leaves emit a lemon scent when crushed, and turn a mixture of red, burgundy, purple in the fall.

    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
  • Fragrant viburnum (Viburnum farreri)

    Pinkish-white flowers of fragrant viburnum

    Also known as:

    Fragrant viburnum
    Fragrant viburnum is an old-fashioned shrub grown for its highly sweet, pinkish-white flowers in early spring. The 4-inch long leaves emerge bronzy-green changing to dark green. Fall color is a reddish purple. Plants tend to be leggy and best in a mixed borer where smaller plants can mask the bare stems.

    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
  • Freeman's maple (Acer freemanii)

    Auttum Blaze Freeman's maple in fall color.

    Also known as:

    Freeman's maple, Freeman maple
    This sturdy hybrid is very common in this region, often serving as a parkway or street tree. It has a brilliant, red-orange color in the fall. Freeman's maple is a hybrid of the red maple and silver maple; the cross yields both the strong branch attachment of the red maple and fast growth rate of the silver maple. Freeman's maple is also less susceptible to chlorosis symptoms than the red or silver maples.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Chicago area,
    • Illinois,
    • North America
  • Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus)

    Flowers of fringe tree

    Also known as:

    fringe tree, fringetree, old man's beard, white fringetree
    Fringe tree grows as either a wide-spreading, multi-stemmed shrub or a small tree useful in native woodland gardens, as a specimen plant in groups, borders, or near large buildings. The fringe tree's most outstanding feature is the fragrant, strap-like, white flowers that are borne in six to eight-inch long fleecy panicles in late May to early June.

    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
  • Frontier elm (Ulmus 'Frontier')

    Young 'Frontier' elm developing fall color.

    Also known as:

    Frontier elm
    The Frontier elm has good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED) and elm yellows and moderate resistance to elm leaf beetle. This hardy, tolerant tree is a good choice for residential landscapes and along city streets.

    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
  • Fullmoon maple (Acer japonicum)

    Fall color of fullmoon maple.

    Also known as:

    fullmoon maple, full-moon maple, downy Japanese maple
    Fullmoon maple is very similar in appearance to the true Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). It varies in size by cultivar and can be a large shrub or a small tree. The divided foliage, small, dangling purple flowers and fall color make this a multi-season tree.

    Size Range:

    • Medium tree (25-40 feet),
    • 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
  • Garden serviceberry (Amelanchier ovalis)

    Also known as:

    Garden serviceberry, snowy mespilus
    Garden serviceberry, also known as snowy mespilus is a European native. The upright, erect, multi-stemmed shrub is found on limestone outcrops and in rocky woods. The white spring flowers and edible blue berries attract birds and wildlife. This plant 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:

    • Non-native
  • Georgia bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla rivularis)

    Flowers of Georgia bush-honeysuckle, cultivar 'Morton' (Summer Stars).

    Also known as:

    Georgia bush-honeysuckle, Georgia bush honeysuckle, mountain bush honeysuckle, hairy bush-honeysuckle, riverbank bush honeysuckle
    Georgia bush-honeysuckle, also called mountain bush-honeysuckle is a fast growing, eastern U.S. native found in the southern Appalachian Mountains in moist wooded areas and woodland edges. The mounding habit and arching stems produce small clusters of yellow trumpet blooms in July and August. New growth emerges with a bronze-red foliage, which later turns green then to a lovely red in the fall. Adapts to most soils and is drought tolerant when established.

    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:

    • North America
  • German garlic (Allium senescens)

    German garlic coming into flower, cultivar Summer Beauty.

    Also known as:

    German garlic, blue broad-leaved chives, curly chives, cowlick chives
    German garlic, also known as broad-leaved chives, is a beautiful perennial adding a long season of interest to the landscape. Dense round clusters of lavender-pink flowers appear above the deep green, glossy foliage mid-summer lasting long into the season. Tolerant of drought, deer, rabbits, and hot weather.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Giant arborvitae (Thuja plicata )

    A mature specimen of giant arborvitae.

    Also known as:

    giant arborvitae, western arborvitae
    Giant arborvitae is a dense, stately evergreen tree native to the Pacific Northwest, often used as a specimen or for screening. The fresh green foliage consists of flat sprays formed by overlapping scales. The tree supplies seeds and shelter for birds but is less appealing to deer. There are many cultivars that vary in height and other characteristics. On some varieties, the foliage changes color in winter.

    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)

    Light Exposure:

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

    Native Locale:

    • North America
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

    The ginkgo tree has fan-shaped leaves.

    Also known as:

    ginkgo, maidenhair tree
    Ginkgo is a very pest-resistant tree. It has interesting, fan-shaped leaves that turn vivid yellow in fall. Only male trees should be purchased as the females produce messy fruit that have a potent odor.

    Size Range:

    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure:

    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native
  • Glossy abelia (Abelia x grandiflora)

    Also known as:

    Glossy abelia
    A small to medium, rounded shrub with arching stems. The late spring, highly fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers have a pink blush. The dark green, glossy leaves turn a bronze-purple. Effective as a low hedge, specimen plant or en masse on slopes for erosion control.

    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:

    • Non-native
  • Goat willow (Salix caprea)

    Flower buds of goat willow beginning to open in very early spring.

    Also known as:

    Goat willow, pussy willow
    Goat willow is a small, compact tree or large shrub with attractive long male catkins appearing before the leaves in early spring.

    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)

    Native Locale:

    • Non-native

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