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Point Reyes Ceanothus
Ceanothus gloriosus

About Point Reyes Ceanothus (Ceanothus gloriosus) Ceanothus gloriosus is a species of shrub in the Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) known by the common name Point Reyes ceanothus. It is endemic to California, where it is known from the coastline of the San Francisco Bay Area and areas north and south. It grows on seaside bluffs and the slopes of the coastal mountains. This shrub grows flat and spreading to erect, approaching two meters in maximum size. There are three recognized wild varieties with different characteristics, and all three are considered rare. There are also a few horticultural varieties such as 'Anchor Bay' and 'Mount Vision'. The evergreen leaves are oppositely arranged and up to 5 centimeters long, rounded to oval in shape. The edges are toothed, the teeth sometimes spine-tipped. The flower cluster is a small cluster of bright blue to purple flowers. The fruit is a horned capsule about 4 millimeters wide. This plant is highly recommended for coastal gardens where a compact form is desired.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 7 ft (0.9 - 2.1 m)

Max. Width
3 - 7 ft (0.9 - 2.1 m)

Mounding, Rounded, Spreading

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate


Flower Color
Blue, Lavender, Pink, Purple

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy places, bluffs, shrubby slopes, ridges, usually very near the coast and at low elevations in Marin and Mendocino Counties. Usually with Coastal Strand or Chaparral vegetation, or with Pine Forest, or Northern Coastal Scrub

Part Shade

Elevation ?
13' - 2248'

Annual Precip. ?
29.4" - 98.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.30" - 1.94"

Coldest Month ?
40.1° F - 49.8° F

Hottest Month ?
57.9° F - 72.2° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 20.63 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers beach sand

Soil Texture
Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Loam

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
Wildlife Attracted
Primarily insects. 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
Very Easy

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

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Prune to shape in late summer to early fall to minimize infection of the wound

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

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly 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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