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Sandscrub Ceanothus Back to Plant Page
Ceanothus dentatus

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About Sandscrub Ceanothus (Ceanothus dentatus) Ceanothus dentatus is a species of shrub in the Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) known by the common name Sandscrub Ceanothus. It is endemic to California, where it is known only from the Central Coast and its Coast Ranges, primarily in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. It grows in coastal hills, bluffs, and canyons. This shrub produces a highly branched, spreading stem up to about 1.5 meters tall. The evergreen leaves are alternately arranged and often borne in clusters. Each is under 2 centimeters long, toothed along the edges, wavy and turned under along the margins to appear somewhat ruffled. They are hairy and covered in tiny hairy bumps, the upper surfaces dark shiny green and the undersides paler. The flower cluster is a small cluster of many bright blue flowers. The fruit is a lobed, crested capsule about 4 millimeters wide.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.6 - 5 ft (0.49 - 1.5 m)

Max. Width
5 ft (1.5 m)

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate


Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy hills, slopes, coastal bluffs, flats below 5,000 ft.


Elevation ?
17' - 5039'

Annual Precip. ?
14.4" - 60.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 0.71"

Coldest Month ?
42.2° F - 52.2° F

Hottest Month ?
58.6° F - 75.8° F

Humidity ?
0.42 vpd - 23.64 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers well drained soil


Sunset Zones ?
7, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*

Wildlife Attracted
Plants in the Ceanothus genus are host plants to the Spring Azure, Echo Blue, Pacuvius Duskywing, California Tortoiseshell, Pale Swallowtail, and Hedgerow Hairstreak butterflies.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Hot water and 3 mos. stratification. Hot water only may give satisfactory germination.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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