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.
We asked a friend who gardens in Mendocino County, south of the town of Whitethorn, what her opinion was of Ceanothus incanus. It occurs naturally on her property. She gushes... "the spring flourish of delicate white blossoms so intensely aromatic they perfume the entire hill. The rapid growth. The habitat they create en masse when left to their own devices. The complete lack of a need for summer water. The ability to take a hard pruning so you can bend them to your particular design. Insects and hummingbirds work their flowers, their seeds feed the birds. They provide protection to tender young madrones and oaks."