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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Eschsch.
Blue blossom, Blueblossom, Bluebrush
USDA Symbol: ceth
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A large, sometimes tree-like, shrub from 3-18 ft. tall with small, lustrous green, oval leaves. Flower plumes are up to 8 in. long and are made up of light- to deep-blue blossoms dotted with yellow stamens. Large evergreen shrub or small tree with short trunk, many spreading branches, and showy blooms resembling lilacs.
This is the hardiest and largest ceanothus. Each spring the highways of the West Coast Display masses of Blue Blossom flowers. Plants can be grown in screens, in hedges, and against walls. Elk and deer browse the foliage. The shrubs form dense thickets after fires and logging. The scientific name, meaning thyrse-flower, refers to the compact, branched flower cluster; thyrsus is the name of the staff, adorned with leaves and berries, that belonged to Bacchus, the Greek god of wine.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
CA , OR Native Distribution:
Outer CA Coast Ranges, n. to OR Native Habitat:
Coastal wooded slopes & canyons below 2000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Fairly dry, well-drained soil.
Conditions Comments: Fast growing. Does not tolerate temperatures below 15 degrees.
PropagationDescription: Most Ceanothus spp. come well from seed. Cuttings of this species may also be successful.
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.
Commercially Avail: yes
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:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
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Record Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff