Ceanothus oliganthus Nutt. var. oliganthus

Hairy Ceanothus
Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)


Hairy ceanothus is a 3' to 9' tall shrub sometimes with a tree-like trunk and with flexible, hairy branchlets and twigs.  The alternate leaves are ovate, elliptic or elliptic-oblong, and pubescent both above and below. This along with the reddish color of the twigs is something that differentiates this variant from sorediatus, which is pubescent only on the undersurface and has grayish-green twigs.  The leaves also have minutely gland-toothed margins, three veins from the base, and are dark green above and paler below.  The inflorescence is a generally interrupted raceme or panicle, and the small pale to deep blue, occasionally white, flowers have a hypanthium surrounding a fleshy disk below the base of the ovary to which are attached the five incurved sepals. There are also five petals and five stamens opposite the petals. The fruit is a ± spheric, crested, usually viscid, 3-valved capsule. Hairy ceanothus blooms from February to April and may be found on dry, shrubby slopes in chaparral to about 4500' from Los Angeles and Riverside Counties north.  These pictures were taken along the Winter Creek trail in the front range of the San Gabriel Mts.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Ceanothus 2) oliganthus.
Pronunciation: see-a-NO-thus ol-i-GAN-thus.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.