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Ceanothus cuneatus - flat form

(prostrate buckbrush)

This unusual form of the ubiquitous buckbrush comes to us from Yerba Buena Nursery. Reaches a height of only 1 - 2 ft. and spreads out to 6 ft. or more. Pale blue flowers appear in early spring and perfume the air with their sweet fragrance. Bees and butterflies are drawn to the flowers while birds enjoy the seeds which follow. An excellent groundcover for hot, dry banks requiring no irrigation once established. Needs full sun and good drainage. Likely to be deer resistant.

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Ceanothus divergens ssp. confusus

(Rincon Ridge ceanothus)

A species of special concern due to its limited distribution in the wild and continued habitat loss. The Rincon Ridge ceanothus is worth considering for those hot inland gardens where some of the more commonly available coastal ceanothus may not be as long lived. Forms a low growing mound of decumbent stems with small holly-like leaves usually under a foot tall. Flowers in dense clusters in early spring are lavender-purple. Plant in sunny areas with good drainage and little to no water once established. Ceanothus are wonderful additions to the habitat garden attracting a wide array of wildlife. This species is likely to be deer resistant.

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Ceanothus foliosus

(wavyleaf ceanothus)

Not commonly found in the trade, this rugged shrub is native to dry slopes of the Coast Ranges nearly throughout the state. Grows to around 3 ft. tall by 6 ft. wide, with glossy wavy-edged leaves and brilliant blue flower clusters in the spring. Perfectly suited for dry banks and slopes in hot summer areas where it tolerates heat, drought and even winter cold. Not tolerant of summer water once established.  Excellent for the habitat garden where it provides nectar to pollinators, larval food for moths and butterflies and cover and seed for birds.
Ceanothus gloriosus var. exaltatus 'Emily Brown' Navarro ceanothus
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Ceanothus gloriosus var. exaltatus 'Emily Brown'

(Navarro ceanothus)

One of the earliest blooming California lilacs. A low spreading evergreen shrub 2 - 4 ft. tall, 8 - 10 ft. wide with dark green hollylike leaves. Flowers of dark violet blue in 1 inch clusters cover the shrub in early spring. Sun and drought tolerant. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds. Perhaps the most deer resistant of the ceanothus.
Ceanothus gloriosus var. gloriosus 'Anchor Bay' Point Reyes ceanothus
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Ceanothus gloriosus var. gloriosus 'Anchor Bay'

(Point Reyes ceanothus)

This Point Reyes ceanothus grows 1 - 2 ft. high or more and spreads 8 ft. wide or more with an attractively dense and luxuriant appearance. The evergreen foliage is dark green and holly-like in shape. Flowers of blue-violet cover the plant in spring. Sun to light shade. Drought tolerant along the coast - a little extra water inland but will tolerate up to moderate irrigation. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies. This species is somewhat deer resistant.

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Ceanothus gloriosus var. gloriosus 'Heart's Desire'

(Point Reyes ceanothus)

One of the lowest growing ceanothus, under one foot tall and spreading three or more feet wide. The small, holly-like leaves line stems which tightly hug the ground. Performs better than most ground cover ceanothus on relatively hot inland sites. Flowers of lavender-blue appear in early spring. Sun, decent drainage, moderate to little summer water once established. Ceanothus are excellent additions to the habitat garden offering flowers for pollinators and seeds for birds. Deer resistant.
Ceanothus griseus 'Kurt Zadnik' Carmel ceanothus
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Ceanothus griseus 'Kurt Zadnik'

(Carmel ceanothus)

Selected by Roger Raiche of the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden from the northern Sonoma Coast. Grows about 3 ft. tall and 10 - 15 ft. wide. The flower buds are very dark with beautiful rich indigo blue flowers, perhaps the darkest of any ceanothus. This fine selection is a prolific bloomer and works well to cover large banks in a hurry. Low to moderate irrigation. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.
Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis 'Diamond Heights' Carmel ceanothus
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Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis 'Diamond Heights'

(Carmel ceanothus)

Grown for its beautiful golden variegated foliage, this low growing shrub spreads 3 - 5 ft. wide and up to 1 ft. high. Scant, light blue flowers in spring contrast nicely with the yellow foliage. Best with light shade in warmer regions. Enjoys some summer water though drought tolerant once established. Discovered from a colony of cultivated Carmel ceanothus in San Francisco in the area known as Diamond Heights.
Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis 'Yankee Point' Carmel ceanothus
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Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis 'Yankee Point'

(Carmel ceanothus)

An energetic bright green shrub growing up to 3 ft. tall and spreading rapidly to 10 - 12 ft. wide. Powder blue flowers in the spring. A good evergreen weed-smothering groundcover for full sun to light shade. Drought tolerant but appreciates an occasional summer watering and will accept moderate water. Tolerant of hot interior locations as long as some shade and irrigation are provided. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies.
Ceanothus hearstiorum  Hearst ceanothus
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Ceanothus hearstiorum

(Hearst ceanothus)

A rare species with limited distribution in San Luis Obispo County. One of the lowest of the ceanothus, up to 12 inches tall and 6 ft. wide. Often completely flat with a star-like pattern of growth. Medium-blue flowers sit atop the narrow, wrinkled leaves in spring. Sun to light shade. More shade tolerant than most Ceanothus, making it a suitable option for under the dappled shade of oaks. Drought tolerant but will accept occasional irrigation. Excessive irrigation will shorten the life of this species. Provide good drainage.

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Ceanothus incanus

(coast whitethorn)

A common and widespread Ceanothus found in the coast ranges of northern California but rarely cultivated in gardens. Probably best suited to conditions similar to where it would be found in the wild. Sunny slopes, canyons, the dappled shade in woodlands, with decent drainage, no to little summer water and full sun to light shade. Growing 5-10 ft. tall with arching rigid branches, whitish bark, stout twiggy spines and evergreen oval leaves of grey-green. Plumes of fragrant white flowers in the spring attract a wide array of insects, birds and butterflies.  
Ceanothus integerrimus  deer brush
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Ceanothus integerrimus

(deer brush)

Deer brush is an excellent addition to the dry garden, featuring an abundance of blue, white or even pink flower plumes in late spring. One of the few deciduous species, displaying soft flat leaves which fall in autumn and reemerge in spring. Deer brush is an open upright shrub, growing 5 - 12 feet tall with many different growth habits. A variable species found in a wide range of habitats throughout the state. Often used in restoration for its rugged qualities and ability to deal with summer heat and winter cold. This crop, grown from seed collected near Lake Sonoma has white flowers. Plant in full sun to light shade with good drainage. Little to no summer water once established.  

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Ceanothus maritimus 'Point Sierra'

(Santa Barbara ceanothus)

An excellent choice for a small scale ground cover, this rare Ceanothus is found on coastal bluffs and low hills in northern San Luis Obsipo County. Even though it is native to the coast it does surprisingly well inland. Smaller and slower growing than most Ceanothus, it blooms very early often beginning in late January or early February. 'Point Sierra' was selected from Arroyo de la Cruz by Native Son's Nursery. Grows 2-3 ft. tall and wide with small, thick, leathery leaves and a dense mounding habit looking almost like Cotoneaster. Rounded clusters of blue-violet flowers from dusty white buds in late winter provide an early nectar source for pollinators of all sorts. A natural for coastal areas in full sun but has proven durable inland when it is provided a little shade. Tolerates heavy soils. Drought tolerant once established. Somewhat deer resistant.
Ceanothus maritimus 'Popcorn' Santa Barbara ceanothus
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Ceanothus maritimus 'Popcorn'

(Santa Barbara ceanothus)

This groundcover or small specimen shrub blooms clean white flowers in late winter. In spite of its coastal origin it has been long-lived and very drought tolerant here in Fulton. Up to 3 ft. tall by 5 ft. wide. Provide sun to light shade and decent drainage.
Ceanothus maritimus 'Valley Violet' Santa Barbara ceanothus
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Ceanothus maritimus 'Valley Violet'

(Santa Barbara ceanothus)

Valley Violet ceanothus is a tough and reliable shrub introduced by the UC Davis Arboretum as an "Arboretum All-Star", one of their 100 top recommended plants. This relatively small Ceanothus grows 2 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide with small leathery leaves and gorgeous dark-violet flowers in early spring. Though native to coastal bluffs of San Luis Obispo County, it performs well in both coastal and inland situations. In hot inland sites it may be best with a little afternoon shade. Drought tolerant once established. For a Ceanothus it is slower growing and has proven to be long lived and tolerant of many soil types. A wide array of pollinators are attracted to its flowers. Deer resistant.
Ceanothus parryi  Parry's ceanothus, ladybloom
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Ceanothus parryi

(Parry's ceanothus, ladybloom)

Nicknamed ladybloom, this ceanothus is underused in California gardens. Native to chaparral plant communities in the coast ranges of California and Oregon. Upright habit with arching branches growing 8-12 ft tall with dark green narrow leaves. Long, narrow flower clusters of medium to deep blue blossoms in the spring. A useful screen, specimen or informal hedge in full sun with little to no water once established. Tolerant of inland heat and conditions. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies.
Ceanothus rigidus 'Snowball' Monterey lilac
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Ceanothus rigidus 'Snowball'

(Monterey lilac)

A good selection for a dry sunny hillside or as a cascading plant for a wall. A densely mounding shrub 3 - 5 feet tall and wide. Covered with ball-like clusters of white flowers in late winter. Plant in full sun with occasional to no summer water once established. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies. Deer resistant.  
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus  blue blossom
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

(blue blossom)

One of the larger ceanothus, forming a good sized shrub or small tree 6-25 ft. tall. Shiny, bright green leaves and good sized clusters of flowers which can range from pure white to pale blue, sky blue through rich darker shades of blue in the spring. Easy, fast growing. Can be trained into a single trunk if desired. Useful as a specimen tree, background shrub or informal hedge. Drought tolerant when established. Ceanothus are fantastic habitat plants providing food and cover for a wide range of creatures. Bees and other pollinators frequent the flowers as do butterflies. Several butterflies and moths use it as a larvel food source. Bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches eat the seeds.  
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'El Dorado' variegated blue blossom
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'El Dorado'

(variegated blue blossom)

Fast growing upright evergreen shrub 6 - 10 ft. tall and wide. Dark green foliage with golden yellow variegation is a nice foil for the medium blue flowers in spring. Plant in full sun along the coast, some shade for hot interior sites. Drought tolerant once established. Occasional summer irrigation can be helpful, but allow soil to dry between waterings. Good for an informal hedge. An excellent habitat plant.

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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Oregon Mist'

(blue blossom)

Blue blossom ceanothus grows in chaparral and woodland plant communities of the outer coast ranges, from Santa Barbara, California to southern Oregon. Selected by Xera Plants, 'Oregon Mist' hails from the northern most part of its range, suggesting superior cold hardiness.  Growing 8 - 15 ft. tall and wide with deep-green shiny leaves and baby-blue flowers in narrow clusters, blooming in mid to late spring. This fast growing evergreen makes a fine stand alone specimen or as part of a shrubby border or screen, where its particularly dense form can be used to great effect. Plant in sun to light shade where it will be drought tolerant once established. An excellent addition to the habitat garden where it provides food and cover for a wide array of insects and birds. 
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark' California lilac
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark'

(California lilac)

Valued for its compact habit and late flowering, this selection offers clusters of dark blue flowers on short stems appearing just as other ceanothus are finishing their show. 4 - 5 ft. tall and 6 - 7 ft. wide with shiny evergreen foliage. This would be a ceanothus to try in hot areas. 'Skylark' is believed to be a cross between Ceanothus thyrsiflorus and C. velutinus. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry' California lilac
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry'

(California lilac)

A beautiful large shrub or small tree 12 ft. (or more) tall and wide. Rich deep green foliage and profuse clusters of radiant pure white flowers in the spring. Adaptable, dependable and garden tolerant. Does well in coastal and inland situations. Best in full sun. 'Snow Flurry' is drought tolerant, but would appreciate a little summer water in hot regions. Not tolerant of very cold winter conditions. Selected from the Big Sur coast. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.
Ceanothus velutinus  snowbrush ceanothus
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Ceanothus velutinus

(snowbrush ceanothus)

Plant description coming soon!

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Ceanothus x delileanus 'Gloire de Versailles'

East meets west with this hybrid Ceanothus, combining an Eastern U.S. species with a Mexican species for lovely results. Glossy green leaves on red stems form a rounded shrub 6 ft. or so tall. Large panicles of smokey-blue flowers bloom over a long period, late spring, summer and sometimes into autumn, which are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Plant in sunny areas with decent drainage and moderate summer water. Appreciates a little afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Benefits from an annual trim to maintain a dense habit. Semi-evergreen.  
Ceanothus x delileanus 'Topaz' ceanothus
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Ceanothus x delileanus 'Topaz'

(ceanothus)

This non-native ceanothus is one of the French hybrids, similar to Ceanothus 'Gloire de Versailles'. They are the result of crosses between a Mexican species (C. coeruleus) and C. americanus from the eastern U.S.. In Europe they are espaliered for cold protection and tend to be fully deciduous. Here they can be grown as free-standing summer blooming pyramidal shrubs growing to 6 ft. tall and wide. The flower color is richer than 'Gloire de Versailles', a frosted blue or light indigo. Provide sun to light shade and moderate to infrequent irrigation. A hard pruning in late fall will encourage stronger flowering and keep a more compact form.

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