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Lemmon's Ceanothus
Ceanothus lemmonii

About Lemmon's Ceanothus (Ceanothus lemmonii) Ceanothus lemmonii is a species of shrub in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae known by the common name Lemmon's ceanothus. It is endemic to California, where it grows on the wooded slopes of the Inner North Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada foothills to the west and east, respectively, of the Sacramento Valley. This is a spreading shrub approaching a meter in height and slightly more in width. The woody parts are gray when aged and new twigs are green, hairy, and sometimes hairy. The evergreen leaves are alternately arranged. Each is oval in shape and dull green, densely hairy on the underside and more thinly hairy on the upper surface, and the edge is lined with tiny hairy teeth. The abundant flower clusters are clusters of pale to bright blue or purple flowers. The fruit is a smooth capsule a few millimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.6 - 3.3 ft (0.49 - 1 m)


Flower Color
Blue, Purple

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open, wooded slopes


Elevation ?
42' - 6957'

Annual Precip. ?
20.7" - 82.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.39" - 2.87"

Coldest Month ?
29.4° F - 52.3° F

Hottest Month ?
53.4° F - 75.7° F

Humidity ?
0.51 vpd - 25.79 vpd

Soil PH
5.4 - 6.8

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 14, 15, 16, 17

Wildlife Attracted
Native bees; Butterflies: Spring Azure, Echo Blue, Pacuvius Duskywing, California Tortoiseshell, Pale Swallowtail, Hedgerow Hairstreak

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Hot water and 3 mos. stratification. Alternative treatment: boil in water 1 min.; then, instead of stratification, soak in 400 ppm GA, 13 hrs.; air dry 4 days; soak in 3% thiourea 5 mins. Seeds may then be sown or dried again and stored. In this quick treatment gave 48% germination for Ceanothus lemmonii. (Adams et al. 1961).

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, 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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