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Ceanothus greggii (Desert ceanothus)
Juett, William

Ceanothus greggii

Ceanothus greggii A. Gray

Desert Ceanothus

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)


USDA Symbol: cegr

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Shrub 3-6 feet with small, half-evergreen, leathery leaves and crowded fragrant clusters of small white or blue flowers.

The species name “greggii” was named for Josiah Gregg, (1806-1850). He was born in Overton County, Tennessee. In the summer of 1841 and again in the winter of 1841-42 he traveled through Texas, up the Red River valley, and later from Galveston to Austin and by way of Nacogdoches to Arkansas. He took note of Texas geology, trees, prevalent attitudes, and politics. At the same time, Gregg began compiling his travel notes into a readable manuscript. His “Commerce of the Prairies”, which came out in two volumes in 1844, was an immediate success. In 1848 he joined a botanical expedition to western Mexico and California, during which he corresponded with and sent specimens to the eminent botanist George Engelman in St. Louis. Subsequently, the American Botanical Society added the Latin name “greggii” in his honor to twenty-three species of plants. Gregg died on February 25, 1850, as a result of a fall from his horse.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: White to pale blue to lavender.


USA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , TX , UT

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry


Use Wildlife: It provides browse for deer, elk, and rabbits. Chipmonks and other small animals, as well as quail, eat the small seeds.
Fragrant Flowers: 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.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-02
Research By: TWC Staff

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