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Greenbark Ceanothus
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Ceanothus spinosus
  

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About Greenbark Ceanothus (Ceanothus spinosus) Ceanothus spinosus is a species in the Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn) family known by the common names greenbark ceanothus and redheart. It is native to the coastal strip of southern California south of San Luis Obispo County to northern Baja California, where it grows in the scrub and chaparral of the coastal mountain ranges. This is a large treelike shrub approaching six meters in maximum height. The stem is a rough-barked trunk near the base and has thorny, greenish-brown branches. The thick, firm evergreen leaves are up to 4 or 5 centimeters long and are hairless on the upper surface but sometimes lined with hairs underneath. The shrub blooms in flower clusters up to 15 centimeters long filled with clusters of white to pale blue flowers. The fruit is a smooth, round capsule about half a centimeter wide containing 3 seeds.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub

Max. Height
20 ft (6.1 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)

Fragrance
Fragrant - Pleasant

Dormancy
Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color
Blue, White

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry slopes of the western face of the Coast Ranges, Transverse Range and Peninsular Range, usually below 3,000 ft.

Sun
Sun

Elevation ?
1' - 6180'

Annual Precip. ?
7.5" - 36.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 1.99"

Coldest Month ?
40.1° F - 56.1° F

Hottest Month ?
64.0° F - 83.5° F

Humidity ?
0.72 vpd - 33.74 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.0

Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Sunset Zones ?
7, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects, especially bees, are attracted to the flowers. Birds and small mammals are attracted to the fruits. 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
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Mulch
Organic with Rocks

Pruning
Fast growing, may require annual pruning (late summer) to restrain its expansive habit. Can be pruned into a standard tree form. One of the few Ceanothus species that re-sprouts from the burl if burned or cut back to the base.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Hot water; then 2 mos. stratification may improve germination.

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Redheart, Greenbark Mountain Lilac


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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