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Ceanothus ophiochilus
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Vail Lake Ceanothus
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Ceanothus ophiochilus
  

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About Vail Lake Ceanothus (Ceanothus ophiochilus) Ceanothus ophiochilus is a rare species of flowering shrub known by the common name Vail Lake ceanothus, native to Southern California. It was not described until 1991. The Ceanothus ophiochilus plant is endemic to California. It is only known from a few sites in the vicinity of Vail Lake and the Black Hills, east of Temecula and west of the Santa Rosa Mountains in southwestern Riverside County. Ceanothus ophiochilus is a plant of the chaparral plant community, and in its small native range which currently is only a few acres, it grows in pyroxenite soil atop an ancient volcano. Its elevation range is 580-1,065 metres (1,903-3,494 ft). One of the three remaining populations of this plant is on private property that may face development in the future. It was listed as a threatened species on the federal level in 1998, and an endangered species by the state of California in 1994. There are up to 9000 individuals remaining, but some of these are hybrids with Ceanothus crassifolius. Ceanothus ophiochilus is an erect shrub reaching a maximum of 2 metres (6. 6 ft) but generally shorter. The young twigs are reddish and grow gray with age. The tiny evergreen leaves grow opposite on the branches and sometimes grow in clusters, and rarely reach a centimeter in length. They are thick, firm, and shiny. The shrub flowers in short inflorescences of pale blue to white to pale pink flowers during February and March. Fire ecology. This species grows only from seed, unlike other Ceanothus, which via an evolved fire ecology usually crown sprout from the lignotuber root crown after being reduced aboveground, such as by natural wildfires. Ceanothus ophiochilus is cultivated by California native plant botanic gardens and plant nurseries, and available as an ornamental plant for: drought tolerant and native plant gardens, and natural landscape habitat gardens and larger landscape projects.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub

Max. Height
6.6 ft (2 m)

Dormancy
Evergreen

Flower Color
Blue, Pink, White

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
1714' - 3002'

Annual Precip. ?
15.9" - 20.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.55" - 0.92"

Coldest Month ?
48.2° F - 49.8° F

Hottest Month ?
76.5° F - 80.9° F

Humidity ?
2.48 vpd - 28.75 vpd

Landscaping Information
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Native To Southern California


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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