Ceanothus spinosus

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Species Name: Ceanothus spinosus
Common Name: Greenbark Ceanothus

A local native recommended as and informal screen or barrier plant. Excellent cover for quail and wildlife. Easily recognizable by green branches and shiny oval leaves. Common in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Plant Family: Rhamnaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 6-8' H x 8' W
Growth Habit: Widely branching, tree-like
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Moderate
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining, rocky
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 15 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Pale blue to white
Endangered?: Not listed
Distribution: San Luis Obispo to Baja
Natural Habitat: Dry slopes below 3000' in Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral

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Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "Tall shrub 8 to 20 feet high. Bright green foliage and branches; slightly spiny. Light blue flowers in large trusses from February to April. Of rapid growth and one of the best for places where a large shrub is required. Not particular about kind of soil, will stand watering and severe pruning. Gallon cans, 50c."
Other Names