Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. griseus (Carmel Ceanothus)

Carmel Ceanothus, Ceanothus griseus, Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis


The most commonly planted Ceanothus species in California, Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. griseus (Carmel Ceanothus) is an evergreen shrub that is quite variable in form. Typically low and wide spreading, this shrub is sometimes arborescent with a rounded and upright habit. It is prized for its abundant clusters densely packed with indigo to pale denim blue flowers in spring to early summer. The flowers are so profuse that they literally cover the shrub, transforming the plant in an explosion of blue. The evergreen leaves are ovate to elliptic, glossy dark green, 1-2in. long (2-5 cm), with revolute margins. Attractive to birds and butterflies, the flowers give way to sticky black capsules containing usually 3 seeds. Carmel Ceanothus is endemic to coastal California, where its distribution extends through coastal central California to the southern half of the northern California coast. It is found in a variety of habitats such as exposed bluffs and headlands, steep canyon slopes and dunes. Easy to grow and fast growing, it is useful on banks and slopes, in mixed borders and coastal gardens. Carmel Ceanothus species has given rise to many outstanding selections including Yankee Point, Diamond Height, Hurricane Point and Carmel Creeper.

  • Grows up to 3-15 ft. tall (90-450 cm) and 4-15 ft. wide (120-450 cm).
  • Thrives in fertile, sandy or loamy, well-drained soils in full sun. Appreciates afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Established plants need little summer water. Drought tolerant.
  • Excellent choice for beds and borders, wall-side borders, coastal gardens, cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens or bank stabilization.
  • Prune immediately after flowering.
  • Propagate by seed or propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in mid- to late summer.
  • Keep an eye out for scale insects, honey fungus.
  • Native to California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 3 – 10
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ceanothus - California Lilac
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 3' – 15' (90cm – 4.5m)
Spread 4' – 15' (120cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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JKehoe_Photos, Tracie Hall, John Rust, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 3 – 10
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ceanothus - California Lilac
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 3' – 15' (90cm – 4.5m)
Spread 4' – 15' (120cm – 4.5m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Ceanothus - California Lilac

Guides with Ceanothus - California Lilac

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