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Chicagoland Grows®

Plant Introduction Program

Chicagoland Grows® is an innovative plant introduction program developed to promote and encourage the use of new and recommended plant cultivars that are well adapted to growing conditions in the Upper Midwest

Goals of the Program

To develop and introduce to the landscape industry, a variety of groundcovers, perennials, trees, and shrubs that are specifically recommended for northern climates. Breeding programs have been established at Chicago Botanic Garden and The Morton Arboretum to develop new cultivars that exhibit excellent hardiness and ornamental characteristics.

Program Structure

Established in 1986, the Chicagoland Grows® Plant Introduction Program is a unique partnership between the Chicago Botanic GardenThe Morton Arboretum, and the Ornamental Growers Association of Northern Illinois (OGA) which is dedicated to developing, selecting, and growing a diversity of plants that are well adapted to Midwestern landscapes and beyond. Herbaceous perennials and grasses developed at the Chicago Botanic Garden and trees and shrubs developed at The Morton Arboretum provide the program with a pipeline of new landscape plants for the horticulture industry and home gardeners alike. The regional OGA nurseries and a network of additional nurseries, both national and international, are licensed to propagate, grow, and sell new cultivars that are deemed worthy of introduction to retailers, landscape contractors, and other consumers. Proceeds from sales of the program’s introductions support plant breeding work at the Chicago Botanic Garden and The Morton Arboretum, ensuring that new plants will continue to be brought to market.

Chicagoland Grows® partners, whether regional, national, or global, are licensed to grow our beautiful, useful, and cold-hardy plants through Plants Nouveau, a marketing company that functions similarly to a sports agent, but for plant breeders. By connecting our cultivars with the best suited growers and propagators, Plants Nouveau helps to maintain a consistent supply chain of plants. Information about our plants can be found in each cultivar’s respective Plant Release Bulletin and on the Plants Nouveau website, both linked in the list below. To become a licensee or request further information regarding any of our cultivars, please contact Angela Treadwell Palmer at angela@plantsnouveau.com. Please note that Plants Nouveau doesn’t sell plants.

Visit the Chicago Botanic Garden website.