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Vick, Albert F. W.
Ceanothus velutinus Douglas ex Hook.
Snowbrush, Snowbrush ceanothus, Tobacco-brush, Mountain balm, Buckbush
USDA Symbol: ceve
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
The clusters of fragrant, creamy-white flowers contrast well with the dark, balsam-scented, sticky foliage of this 3-5 ft. broadleaf evergreen shrub. Snowbrush’s stems are stout and much-branched, lending a spreading, round-topped habit. The entire plant is pleasantly aromatic.
Snowbrush is a member of the buckthorn family (family Rhamnaceae), which includes shrubs, woody vines, and small to large trees (rarely herbs). There are about 700 species worldwide.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: BC Native Distribution:
Tulare Co., CA
to coastal B.C., e., mainly in mts., to CO
& Black Hills, SD Native Habitat:
Open, wooded, hillsides & ledges; 3500 to 10,000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Soil Description:
Well-drained, rocky soil. Conditions Comments:
Too much shade quickly results in a leggy specimen. This is sometimes considered a perennial
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Larval Host: California tortoisehell
Sow seeds in fall. Many Ceanothus species can be propagated vegetatively with cuttings or,
if it is a creeping type, with layers. 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:
Seeds require 3 months stratification after a hot water treatment. (Bring water to a boil and then steep the seeds for 10-15 minutes.) Commercially Avail:
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
Record Last Modified: 2010-04-28
Research By: TWC Staff