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Marcus, Joseph A.
Ceanothus herbaceus Raf.
Redroot, Prairie redroot, Jersey tea, Inland Ceanothus, Fuzzy Ceanothus
Synonym(s): Ceanothus herbaceus var. pubescens, Ceanothus ovatus, Ceanothus ovatus var. pubescens, Ceanothus pubescens
USDA Symbol: cehe
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
This species grows 2-3 ft. tall with a thick rootstock and dense foliage. Leaves as much as 2 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide, may be as small as 1 inch by 1/4 inch, with prominent, yellowish veins on the lower side. Margins finely serrate. Less woody than C. americanus, with narrow, glossier leaves and shorter flower clusters. Flowers small, white, in dense, rounded clusters 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide, at the ends of leafy twigs, opening from March to July. Fruit a rounded, dark brown, 3 lobed capsule, about 3/16 inch in diameter, with a saucerlike support. Fall color is insignificant.
This genus can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, WY Canada: ON Native Distribution: VT,
& Powder River, Co., MT,
s. to n.w. IN, LA
& TX Native Habitat:
Rocky, open, wooded hillsides; roadsides. Little Bluestem prairies; Rocky woods; Limestone escarpment. In
drier, more alkaline habitat than Ceanothus americanus
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Well-drained clays, sandy loams, or limey soils, calcareous preferred. Often found growing in cracks in limestone outcrops.
Conditions Comments: Prefers more alkaline and dry sites than Ceanothus herbaceus.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings
Seed Collection: Collect seeds in late summer and early fall. 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: Scarification may be necessary and can be accomplished by soaking the seeds in hot water (180-200 degrees). Soak in cooling water 24 hours. Stratify all seeds for 60-90 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
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:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0500
Collected Mar. 28, 1992 in Bexar County by Lottie Millsaps
Record Last Modified: 2013-12-19
Research By: NPC