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CEANOTHUS thyrsiflorus (EL DORADO)

Image of Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Perado' (EL DORADO) PP13433

PlantHaven

Family

Rhamnaceae

Botanical Name

CEANOTHUS thyrsiflorus 'Perado'(EL DORADO) PP13433

Plant Common Name

Blue Blossom, El Dorado Blue Blossom

Special Notice

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

General Description

The cool blue color and vigorous upright form of this evergreen shrub made it a popular early landscape shrub for California gardens. Parent to many contemporary Ceanothus hybrid cultivars, blue blossom is pretty in its own right, though a little wilder and rangier than formal cultivated forms. It is native across the western American coastal mountain ranges from Santa Barbara, California up to Oregon. Wild coastal specimens are found in more open natural landscapes, but further inland they reside along river canyons. This indicates they need a bit more protection in dryer, harsher inland gardens. Blue blossom is not particularly attractive out of bloom, but offers some structural appeal to naturalistic landscapes.

In the wild, blue blossom grows as a more sparse, open shrub with upright angled branches bearing small oval dark green leaves. In spring, many clusters of small intensely blue flowers form at the branch tips. The blue flower color can be variable, and white-flowered forms also exist. Butterflies and hummingbirds pollinate the blooms and small brown fruits follow. Shrubs may self-sow.

This drought-tolerant coastal species requires full sun and well-drained soil with average fertility. It can be grown further inland if protected from high winds and provided light shade during the hottest part of the day. In the wild they are found among oak and pine woodlands where soils are slightly acid. California lilac may grow in heavier soils, but only if they are well-drained, typically on slopes, gentle or steep. Provide deep irrigation the first year or two after planting to ensure deep rooting, then wean shrubs from regular water aside from an occasional deep watering. Due to its large size and upright form, this is a favorite species for hedges, screens and for espalier.

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'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Width

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    California

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, 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

  • 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

    Fine

  • 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