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Wavy Leaved Ceanothus
Ceanothus foliosus

About Wavy Leaved Ceanothus (Ceanothus foliosus) Ceanothus foliosus is a species of flowering shrub in the Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn) family known by the common name Wavyleaf Ceanothus. This Ceanothus is endemic to California, where its distribution extends throughout the Coast Ranges and the northern end of the Peninsular Ranges. This shrub appears in a variety of forms throughout its range. It may be tall and erect but is generally under two meters in height; it may also be low-lying and sprawling. There are three recognized varieties; var. vineatus (Vine Hill Ceanothus) is a rare form. The species generally has sparse, small evergreen leaves only one to two centimeters in length and toothed along the edges with hairy knobs. The petite flower clusters are borne on naked stalks and are bunched with blue or lavender flowers with prominent yellow anthers. The fruit is a capsule about 4 millimeters long containing usually 3 seeds. It is an excellent butterfly plant.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.5 - 7 ft (1.1 - 2.1 m)

Max. Width
7 ft (2.1 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate


Flower Color
Blue, Lavender

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Relatively dry, open, rocky slopes of coast-facing mountains up to 5,000 ft. as part of chaparral, woodland or coniferous forest


Elevation ?
7' - 6527'

Annual Precip. ?
12.1" - 129.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.22" - 2.00"

Coldest Month ?
37.7° F - 53.2° F

Hottest Month ?
54.3° F - 78.5° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 25.84 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers slightly acidic soil but tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Wildlife Attracted
The flowers attract numerous insects such as bees and butterflies. Ceanothus species are host plants to numerous butterfly species including the following: Spring Azure, Echo Blue, Pacuvius Duskywing, California Tortoiseshell, Pale Swallowtail, and Hedgerow Hairstreak

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Hot water; then 3 mos. stratification may improve germination.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Wavyleaf Ceanothus

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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