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Ceanothus arboreus

Ceanothus arboreus

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordoo: Rosales

Familia: Rhamnaceae
Subfamilia: Ziziphoideae
Tribus: Unplaced Ziziphoids
Genus: Ceanothus
Species: Ceanothus arboreus

Ceanothus arboreus Greene, 1886

Bulletin of the California Academy of Sciences 2:144. 1886
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Ceanothus arboreus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
English: feltleaf ceanothus

Ceanothus arboreus is a species of perennial shrub to small tree in the family Rhamnaceae, commonly known as the felt-leaf ceanothus, island ceanothus, and island mountain lilac.[2][3] It is the largest member of the California lilacs (the Ceanothus genus), and is characterized with glossy, dark green foliage that is adorned by pale blue to white flowers in bloom. It is endemic to the Channel Islands of California and Guadalupe Island in Mexico,[4] only being re-discovered on Guadalupe Island after the elimination of feral goats.[5]


Ceanothus arboreus is a spreading bush growing up to 12–36 feet (3.7–11.0 m) in height.[6] It has large, glossy, dark green leaves which are leathery or felt-like on their undersides.[6]

Its showy bright blue flowers grow in plentiful panicles, or bunches, of tiny five-lobed blossoms.[6] Some varieties and cultivars have light, powder blue blooms, and others bear darker blue flowers. The bloom period is February to April.[2]

The fruits are three-lobed, triangular capsules.[6]

The plant is endemic to three of the Channel Islands of California: Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island, and Santa Catalina Island,[2][6] and it is also found on Guadalupe Island in Mexico.[4]

It is found on slopes in coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats.[2]
J20160218-0104—Ceanothus arboreus—RPBG (25237823956).jpg

'Ceanothus arboreus is cultivated as an ornamental plant for use in drought tolerant and wildlife gardens and natural landscaping projects.[7][8] Butterflies like the flowers and the quail eat the seeds.[7]

Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden use, including:

Ceanothus arboreus 'Cliff Schmidt' — more compact habit and deeper blue flowers.[9]
Ceanothus arboreus 'Owlswood Blue'.[10]
Ceanothus arboreus 'Powder Blue' — Powder Blue Ceanothus, Compact Feltleaf Ceanothus.[11][12][13]
Ceanothus arboreus 'Skylark'
Ceanothus arboreus 'Trewithen Blue' — very dark blue flowered form from the Channel Islands.[14] It has received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[15]

See also

Endemic flora of California
Natural history of the Channel Islands of California
Flora of the California chaparral and woodlands


C. arboreus was first described and published in Bulletin of the California Academy of Sciences, 2(6): 144. 1886. "Plant Name Details for Ceanothus arboreus". IPNI. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
Calflora: Ceanothus arboreus
GRIN-Global Web v taxonomy of Ceanothus arboreus
Rebman, J. P.; Gibson, J.; Rich, K. (2016). "Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Baja California, Mexico" (PDF). San Diego Society of Natural History. 45: 241.
Luna-Mendoza, Luciana; Aguirre-Muñoz, Alfonso; Hernández-Montoya, J.C.; Torres-Aguilar, Marisol; García-Carreón, Jacinto; Hernandez, Orlando; Luvianos-Colin, Sergio; Cárdenas, Ana; Méndez Sánchez, Federico (2019). "Ten years after feral goat eradication: the active restoration of plant communities on Guadalupe Island, Mexico". Occasional Paper SSC. 62: 571–575.
Jepson eFlora: Ceanothus arboreus
Las Pilitas Nursery Horticultural Database: Ceanothus arboreus (Tree Lilac, Island Mt. Lilac)
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network−NPIN: Ceanothus arboreus (Feltleaf ceanothus, Island ceanothus, Island mountain lilac)
Buena Nursery native plants database: Ceanothus arboreus 'Cliff Schmidt'
Las Pilitas Nursery Horticultural Database: Southern California Lilacs, Ceanothus spp. and cultivars.
San Marcos Growers Horticulture Database: Ceanothus arboreus 'Powder Blue'
The Santa Barbara Botanic Ceanothus 'Powder Blue' — with images.
Yerba Buena Nursery native plants database: Ceanothus arboreus 'Powder Blue'
Yerba Buena Nursery native plants database: Ceanothus arboreus 'Trewithen Blue'
"RHS Plant Selector - Ceanothus arboreus 'Trewithen Blue'". Retrieved 15 April 2020.

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