Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
CEANOTHUS thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry'
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
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.
10 - 3
7 - 11
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m
Feature Plant, Hedges, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier
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