Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:

Ceanothus cordulatus

Ceanothus cordulatus Kellogg

Mountain whitethorn, Snow bush, Whitethorn ceanothus

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Mountain whitethorn or snow bush is an intricately branched, spiny, spreading shrub, 3-6 ft. tall and up to 8 ft. wide, with smooth, whitish bark and velvety, blue-green leaves. Fragrant, white flowers occur in dense clusters.


From the Image Gallery

No images of this plant

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: CA & NV, n. to OR
Native Habitat: Dry, open flats & slopes; 3000-9500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Layering, cutting or seed may all be effective means of propagation.
Seed Collection: Because dry capsules disperse their seed abruptly with a sudden ejection, it may be necessary to tie cloth bags around the clusters of capsules to catch the seeds.
Seed Treatment: A hot water treatment may be beneficial. (Bring water to a boil and then steep the seeds for 10-15 minutes.)
Commercially Avail: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Ceanothus cordulatus is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Pacuvius Duskywing
(Erynnis pacuvius)

Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ceanothus cordulatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ceanothus cordulatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ceanothus cordulatus


Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back