Natives – Trees and Shrubs

Native plants generally display better hardiness, disease and insect resistance and tolerate local weather extremes. Native plants conserve soil and water because they don’t require fertilizers and pesticides. Native plants also often provide habitat, shelter and food for birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

For more information about natives visit Grow Native! The  Grow Native! program helps protect and restore our state’s biodiversity by increasing conservation awareness of native plants and their effective use.

Gardening with native plants only makes good sense. Just what is a native plant? A native is a plant that originated in our area and was not introduced from Europe or another far away location. The native program is divided into two groups of plants: Perennials & Grasses and Trees & Shrubs.

 

Trees

 paw paw

Asimina or Paw Paw

Cup-shaped purple spring flowers give way to edible yellow fruits. Fruit is large and symmetrical with sweet, superior flavor. Valuable source of food for much wildlife. 15-20 ft tall and wide. Tolerates wet soil.

 American Hornbeam

American Hornbeam

Native to Missouri, American Hornbeam is a  slow growing, low maintenance, medium-sized tree that has smooth gray bark and an attractive globular shape. It will grow in a lawn or woodland setting, as it prefers partial shade. Attractive yellow-orange fall color. 25-30 ft tall.

Redbud

Redbud

Horizontal branches are smothered in small deep pink flowers in early spring before the tree leafs out. Red-purple, pea-shaped seed pods follow the flowers. Heart-shaped leaves become a quilt of yellow and green in fall. This native tree is the harbinger of spring and prefers sun or best yet, dappled shade.

 Dogwood

Dogwood

Small, low-branched tree with spreading horizontal branches. Distinctive white flowers, 3″ in diameter, bloom mid-April to mid-May. Clusters of glossy red fruit in fall persist into winter and are relished by birds. Consistent deep red fall leaf color. Best as an understory tree or where some afternoon shade is provided.

 Serviceberry

Serviceberry

A lovely small tree with slightly fragrant early white spring flowers.  Flowers give rise to very flavorful, purple-black, berrylike fruits relished by both songbirds and people. This lovely tree has colorful fall foliage in a blend of orange, gold, red and green and is a Missouri Botanical Garden Plant of Merit.

 Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel

This unique native shrub flowers from late winter into early spring, when little else is blooming in the landscape. The fragrant flowers are clustered or solitary, yellow to dark red in color, This Missouri native grows 6-10 ft and is a Missouri Botanical Garden Plant of Merit.

 Northern Red Oak

Northern Red Oak

Northern Red Oak is a fast-growing, long-lived, statuesque shade tree with dark green lustrous leaves. Fall color is russet to bright red. Long-lived and faster growing than other oaks. Fruits are acorns which mature in early fall.

 White Oak

White Oak

A large, majestic tree that is slow growing but an invaluable source of food for all types of wildlife including songbirds, beneficial insects and small animals. Many experts agree that if you only plant one tree in your lifetime, let it be an oak. Illinois state tree.  45-50 feet.

 

Pin Oak

A strong pyramidal-shaped tree with pendulous lower branches and glossy, dark-green foliage. Light brown acorns provide food for many animals. All oaks are hosts of the caterpillar larva that feed our birds and host our butterflies.

 White Fringetree

Fringe Tree

Fringetree is a Missouri native small tree with a spreading, rounded habit that typically grows 12-20′ tall. Slightly fragrant, shimmering, white fringed flowers in May or June. Fringetree leaves often turn bright yellow in fall. Grow in full sun to part shade.  Olive-like fruits which ripen to a dark, bluish black in late summer and are a food source for birds and wildlife.

 Sassafras Sassafras

Fast growing, oval shaped tree that grows 30-50 ft. Mitten shaped foliage has outstanding falll colors of deep orange and scarlet. If not pruned regularly, tree will spread and begin to take on the appearance of a large multi-stemmed shrub. Excellent for naturalized plantings or screens, provides wildlife cover.

Pecan

Pecan

Large, 75-100 ft, nut producing tree that is best in full sun and rich, well-drained soil. Easy to grow, low maintenance tree that  requires ample water for best nut production. Seedlings have deep tap roots so difficult to transplant when large.

 

 Black Cherry

Black Cherry- currently not available, we are working on it!

Small white spring flowers are followed by red summer fruit that birds and other wildlife feed upon. An important host plant for the tiger swallowtail butterfly.

 Shrubs

 aronia

Aronia or Chokeberry

Attractive dark glossy leaves, pinkish white spring flowers. Purplish-black summer fruit followed by intense reddish-orange autumn foliage. Tolerates both wet and dry soil. Sun or part shade. 6-8 ft.
We also have two smaller forms of aronia- Low Scape Mound at 1-2 ft. and Low Scape Hedger at 3-5 ft.

 

 calycanthus_aphrodite

Calycanthus or Sweet Shrub ‘Aphrodite’

‘Aphrodite’ is a large, summer blooming shrub with red flowers that resemble magnolia blooms. The flowers last and long time and are fragrant. Glossy green foliage. 5-8 feet tall and wide.

 

 Callicarpa

Callicarpa or Beautyberry ‘Purple Pearls’

‘Purple Pearls has pink spring flowers and purple-tinted foliage. A vigorous plant with a distict upright habit. Most showy is the colorful, large purple berries that persit well into winter and provide food for wildlife,

 New Jersey Tea

Ceanothus or New Jersey Tea 

A compact native shrub with abundant, white spring flowers. Butterfly magnet! 2-4 feet tall.

 

 Button Bush Sugar Shack

Cephalanthus or Button Bush ‘Sugar Shack’

‘Sugar Shack’ is half the size of the true button bush species (3 to 4 ft. instead of 6-8 ft.). The cool looking fragrant, white flowers bloom in summer and are followed by red fruit.

 Clethra Chrystalina

Clethra or Summersweet ‘Crystalina’

This dwarf super fragrant clethra has pure white flowers in late summer. It has glossy foliage that holds a tight dense shape. Yellow fall foliage. 2-3 ft.

 cornus_arctic_fire_

Cornus or Red Twig Dowood ‘Artic Fire’

Lovely dark red stems are beautiful in winter landscapes. Compact at just 3-5 feet. Sun or part shade.

 

Gatsby Star Hydrangea

Oakleaf Hydrangea ‘Gatsby Star’ 

Gatsby Star is an oakleaf hydrangea with double white flowers that are pointed (instaed of rounded) resulting in a prominent showy plant. The dark green foliage turns mahogany-red in autumn. 6-8 feet. Makes a superb privacy hedge.

 Itea 'Little Henry'

 Itea or Sweetspire  ‘Little Henry’ 

Loads of showy white spring flowers atop foliage that turns vivid orange-red in the fall. Puts burning bush to shame! Only 2-3 ft. Tough, easy to grow, prefers moist soils and will tolerate wet conditions. It will grow in full sun to full shade and requires little pruning or other maintenance.

 berry_poppins_ilex_verticillata-

Ilex or Winterberry

‘Berry Poppins’ and ‘Mr. Poppins’ are the perfect couple for this dwarf, 3-4 ft. form of deciduous holly. Attractive bright red fall and winter berries linger all season and are food for birds and small wildlife.

 PhysocarpusLittleDevil

Physocarpus or Ninebark ‘Little Devil’

This improved ninebark has an upright spreading habit and dark, disease free foliage. Low maintenance and very little prunning needed.Clusters of purplish-white spring flowers. nice alternative to barberry. 3-4 feet.

 

 Spicebush

Spicebush

A Missouri native and a Missouri Botanical Plant of Merit. A rounded multi-stemmed shrub covered with fragrant yellow-green flowers in early spring. The flowers open before the leaves emerge and are held close to the branches. Aromatic light green leaves turn deep yellow-gold in fall. Birds feed on the brilliant red fruits of the female plant. The larva (caterpillar) of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly feeds on the leaves of this shrub.

 Sumac Tiger Eye

Sumac ‘Tiger Eye’

Golden leaf form of staghorn sumac. New growth is showy chartreuse. Summer color is followed by even better orange-scarlet autumn. 3-6 ft. Full sun or part shade. It’s like a Japanese Maple for the shade! One is growing here at the garden center and has proven tough, low maintenance and showy.

 Seven-Son Flower

Seven-Son Flower

A large multi-stemmed shrub that grows to 15 ft., and can be trained as a single stem tree. Large clusters of creamy white fragrant flowers appear in late summer to early fall. Flowers are followed by even showier purple-red fruit that persists all autumn. It is a good source of nectar for butterflies in the fall. Gnarly exfoliating bark is decorative in winter.

 Arrowwood Viburnum

Viburnum dentatum or Arrowwood Viburnam

Clusters of white, flat-topped spring flowers are followed by blue-black fruit that attracts wildlife. Leaves turn orange and red in the fall. Needs plenty of space. 6-10 ft tall and wide.

 

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