Authors: M. Whitson
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Locality: Northern Kentucky University

This is a checklist of commonly occuring species of woody plants either native, naturalized, or cultivated in northern Kentucky. This list was generated for use by Bio 312L (Dendrology) students at Northern Kentucky University, in Highland Heights, KY.

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Families: 30
Genera: 53
Species: 71 (species rank)
Total Taxa: 83 (including subsp. and var.)
Liquidambar styraciflua - American Sweet Gum
Rhus sp. - sumac
The sumacs. Most shrubs (a few viney). Red fruit = safe to touch. White fruit = skin irritant (ex. poison sumac).
Rhus aromatica - fragrant sumac
Fragrant sumac. Commonly cultivated as a groundcover. Foliage with strong, somewhat unpleasant smell. Trifoliate leaves make it look rather like poison ivy, but it has red drupes instead of white.
Rhus copallina - winged sumac
Winged or shining sumac. Shrub. Glossy compound leaves. Rachis winged.
Poison ivy. AKA Toxicodendron radicans.
Rhus typhina - staghorn sumac
Staghorn sumac. Shrub. Creamy yellow sap. All parts (including the red drupes) very fuzzy.
Ilex opaca - American holly
Berberis thunbergii - Japanese barberry
Mahonia aquifolium - hollyleaved barberry
Betula nigra - river birch
Catalpa sp. - catalpa
Celtis occidentalis - common hackberry
Lonicera japonica - Japanese honeysuckle
Japanese honeysuckle. Highly invasive twining vine from Japan. Sweetly scented flowers.
Lonicera maackii - Amur honeysuckle bush
Amur honeysuckle. Highly invasive shrub from China.
Celastrus orbiculatus - oriental bittersweet
Chinese bittersweet. Highly invasive vine. Ornamental yellow-orange fruit split to reveal red-orange seeds.
Euonymus alatus - winged burning bush
Burning bush. Highly invasive Asian shrub. Shocking red fall color.
Euonymus atropurpurea - eastern wahoo
Wahoo. Charming native woodland shrub. Pink capsules split to reveal orange seeds.
Cornus florida - flowering dogwood
Flowering dogwood. Tree with showy white bracts around insignificant flowers. Pretty red drupes in the fall.
Nyssa sylvatica - black tupelo
Cercis canadensis - eastern redbud
Robinia pseudacacia - black locust
Fagus grandifolia - American beech
Quercus alba - white oak
Quercus imbricaria - shingle oak
Quercus rubra - northern red oak
Juglans nigra - black walnut
Magnolia grandiflora - Southern Magnolia
Tilia americana - American basswood
Morus alba - white mulberry
Morus rubra - red mulberry
Amelanchier sp. - serviceberry
Crataegus sp. - hawthorn
Malus sp. - apple
Prunus serotina - black cherry
Rosa multiflora - multiflora rose
Rubus sp. - blackberry
Populus deltoides - eastern cottonwood
Salix sp. - willow
Hedge maple. Cultivated; often pruned as a hedge. Milky sap. Simple leaves.
Paperbark maple. Cultivated at NKU. Glossy, peeling bark, compound leaves. From China. Seeds typically sterile.
Acer negundo - boxelder
Box elder. Its green twigs are unusual for a maple.
Japanese red maple. Commonly cultivated. Relatively small trees. From Japan. The leaves often have 9 lobes, which is more than our other maples have.
Acer platanoides - Norway maple
Norway maple. Looks like a sugar maple on steroids, but with milky sap. The large leaves often have very long petioles.
Acer rubrum - red maple
Red maple.
Acer saccharinum - silver maple
Silver maple.
Acer saccharum - sugar maple
Sugar maple. Most common maple in northern Kentucky.
Koelreuteria paniculata - Golden Rain Tree
Buddleja sp. - butterflybush
Ailanthus altissima - tree of heaven
Ulmus americana - American elm
Ulmus parvifolia - Chinese elm
Ulmus rubra - slippery elm
Vitis sp. - grape