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Ceanothus integerrimus
About Deerbrush (Ceanothus integerrimus) Nurseries Show All Photos Ceanothus integerrimus (Deer Brush) is a woody shrub in the Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn) family native to the western United States, in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oregon, and Washington. It grows in a wide range of habitats including chaparral mountain shrub regions, in hardwood forests of the west, and in fir, spruce, and Ponderosa Pine communities, being most abundant in chaparral in California. Due to its widespread distribution, it exhibits a variety of forms. In some locations it is a deciduous shrub from 1-4 meter tall with an open ascending to erect branch habit. In other locations it is evergreen or semi-deciduous and decumbent. Some occur very close to the coast while most are found inland in mountain settings. There are two recognized varieties with overlapping ranges, a reflection of the species' variability. It is a drought-tolerant phanerophyte. Nitrogen fixing actinomycete bacteria form root nodules on Ceanothus roots. Like most Ceanothus, the flowers are attractive and fragrant. The flowers are usually white but occasionally shades of blue. May be tricky in the garden unless you can provide exactly the conditions it requires. It is recommended for mountain gardens.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 13.1 ft (1 - 4 m)

Max. Width
7 ft (2.1 m)

Upright, Mounding, Weeping

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous, Winter Semi-Deciduous, Evergreen

Flower Color
White, Lavender, Blue

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry slopes, ridges, canyons in the mountainous areas of the state, as part of chaparral, evergreen forest or oak woodland


Elevation ?
8' - 14090'

Annual Precip. ?
5.6" - 136.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 4.64"

Coldest Month ?
10.0° F - 55.3° F

Hottest Month ?
33.4° F - 82.4° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 33.08 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates decomposed granite or clay

Soil PH
4.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

Companion Plants
Can be found with a number of different companion plants depending on region of the state, including Manzanita (Arctostaphylos species), Scrub Oak (Quercus berberidifolia), Coffeeberry (Frangula species), Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), Madrone (Arbutus mezesiesii), Canyon Oak (Quercus chrysolepis), and Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa).

Wildlife Attracted
Insects, especially bees and butterflies, are attracted to the flowers. 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 ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
Prune out rangy branches in late summer to maintain a neat appearance and encourage compact growth.  For propagating by seed: Hot water and 2.5-3 mos. stratification.

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Deerbrush 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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