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CEANOTHUS 'Cascade'

Image of Ceanothus 'Cascade'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Rhamnaceae

Botanical Name

CEANOTHUS 'Cascade'

Plant Common Name

California Lilac

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Long before these California natives caught on out west, the English developed ‘Cascade’ in 1938, the first hybrid suited to the rainy, cool climate of Great Britain. It is believed to have come from Ceanothus thyrsifolius, which shares an enormous range from Santa Barbara to Oregon. This upright shrub produces small dark glossy green leaves with a unique wrinkled surface.

‘Cascade’ blooms heavily mid to late spring with clusters of tiny blue flowers at the branch tips. Due to the origins of its parent along the coast, it may not perform as well further inland. California lilac will grow in heavier soils but only when exceptionally well drained, typically on slopes gentle and steep. In the wild they prefer the sheltered canyons as well as oak and pine woodlands where it adapts to acidic soils.

Grow ‘Cascade’ in full sun on the coast but protect from direct afternoon sun further inland. It is ideal for soils around oak trees where excessive summer water can be problematic. Provide deep irrigation the first year or two after planting to ensure deep rooting, then wean summer water to an occasional deep soaking in year three.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-8' / 1.8m - 2.4m

  • Width

    6'-8' / 1.8m - 2.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Hedges, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No