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Ceanothus integerrimus  deer brush
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Ceanothus integerrimus

(deer brush)

Deer brush is an excellent addition to the dry garden, featuring an abundance of blue, white or even pink flower plumes in late spring. One of the few deciduous species, displaying soft flat leaves which fall in autumn and reemerge in spring. Deer brush is an open upright shrub, growing 5 - 12 feet tall with many different growth habits. A variable species found in a wide range of habitats throughout the state. Often used in restoration for its rugged qualities and ability to deal with summer heat and winter cold. This crop, grown from seed collected near Lake Sonoma has white flowers. Plant in full sun to light shade with good drainage. Little to no summer water once established.  

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Ceanothus maritimus 'Point Sierra'

(Santa Barbara ceanothus)

An excellent choice for a small scale ground cover, this rare Ceanothus is found on coastal bluffs and low hills in northern San Luis Obsipo County. Even though it is native to the coast it does surprisingly well inland. Smaller and slower growing than most Ceanothus, it blooms very early often beginning in late January or early February. 'Point Sierra' was selected from Arroyo de la Cruz by Native Son's Nursery. Grows 2-3 ft. tall and wide with small, thick, leathery leaves and a dense mounding habit looking almost like Cotoneaster. Rounded clusters of blue-violet flowers from dusty white buds in late winter provide an early nectar source for pollinators of all sorts. A natural for coastal areas in full sun but has proven durable inland when it is provided a little shade. Tolerates heavy soils. Drought tolerant once established. Somewhat deer resistant.
Ceanothus maritimus 'Popcorn' Santa Barbara ceanothus
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Ceanothus maritimus 'Popcorn'

(Santa Barbara ceanothus)

A special white-flowered form of a very rare species from Hearst Castle in San Luis Obispo County. This rugged groundcover ceanothus reaches up to 3 ft tall and spreads to 5 ft wide, an excellent candidate for parkway strips and drier borders. The thick, rigid leaves are serrated along the margins and colored a pleasing gray-green. In spite of its coastal origin, 'Popcorn' tolerates sun and heat quite well, but will enjoy a little afternoon shade in the hottest interior locations. It has been long-lived and very drought tolerant here in Fulton, even putting up with our heavy clay soil. A fabulous pollinator plant which also provides food and cover for birds.
Ceanothus maritimus 'Valley Violet' Santa Barbara ceanothus
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Ceanothus maritimus 'Valley Violet'

(Santa Barbara ceanothus)

Valley Violet ceanothus is a tough and reliable shrub introduced by the UC Davis Arboretum as an "Arboretum All-Star", one of their 100 top recommended plants. This relatively small Ceanothus grows 2 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide with small leathery leaves and gorgeous dark-violet flowers in early spring. Though native to coastal bluffs of San Luis Obispo County, it performs well in both coastal and inland situations. In hot inland sites it may be best with a little afternoon shade. Drought tolerant once established. For a Ceanothus it is slower growing and has proven to be long lived and tolerant of many soil types. A wide array of pollinators are attracted to its flowers. Deer resistant.

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Ceanothus papillosus - Upright Baja Form

(wartleaf ceanothus)

This cold hardy selection from Baja California is highly useful in the garden setting thanks to its tall, upright form and narrow, vaselike shape. Many customers ask us for a big but narrow form of ceanothus. This is one of the few selections that fits the bill. Plants reach 8 – 10 ft tall, but only reach 3 – 4 ft wide, making it ideal for a privacy screen in a small area. Indigo blue flowers cover plants in spring, followed by little seed capsules which are relished by birds. The crinkly, dark-green leaves are elongated and create a nice foil for brighter green plants, such as Salvia and Artemisia. As with all ceanothus, the flowers are loved by a large array of pollinators. Plant in full sun to very light shade and water infrequently once established. Needs decent drainage.
Ceanothus parryi  Parry's ceanothus, ladybloom
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Ceanothus parryi

(Parry's ceanothus, ladybloom)

Nicknamed ladybloom, this ceanothus is underused in California gardens. Native to chaparral plant communities in the coast ranges of California and Oregon. Upright habit with arching branches growing 8-12 ft tall with dark green narrow leaves. Long, narrow flower clusters of medium to deep blue blossoms in the spring. A useful screen, specimen or informal hedge in full sun with little to no water once established. Tolerant of inland heat and conditions. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies.
Ceanothus rigidus 'Snowball' Monterey lilac
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Ceanothus rigidus 'Snowball'

(Monterey lilac)

A good selection for a dry sunny hillside or as a cascading plant for a wall. A densely mounding shrub 3 - 5 feet tall and wide. Covered with ball-like clusters of white flowers in late winter. Plant in full sun with occasional to no summer water once established. Ceanothus are great additions to the habitat garden offering food and cover for birds and nectar for bees and butterflies. Deer resistant.  
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus  blue blossom
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

(blue blossom)

One of the larger ceanothus, forming a good sized shrub or small tree 6-25 ft. tall. Shiny, bright green leaves and good sized clusters of flowers which can range from pure white to pale blue, sky blue through rich darker shades of blue in the spring. Easy, fast growing. Can be trained into a single trunk if desired. Useful as a specimen tree, background shrub or informal hedge. Drought tolerant when established. Ceanothus are fantastic habitat plants providing food and cover for a wide range of creatures. Bees and other pollinators frequent the flowers as do butterflies. Several butterflies and moths use it as a larvel food source. Bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches eat the seeds.  
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'El Dorado' variegated blue blossom
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'El Dorado'

(variegated blue blossom)

Fast growing upright evergreen shrub 6 - 10 ft. tall and wide. Dark green foliage with golden yellow variegation is a nice foil for the medium blue flowers in spring. Plant in full sun along the coast, some shade for hot interior sites. Drought tolerant once established. Occasional summer irrigation can be helpful, but allow soil to dry between waterings. Good for an informal hedge. An excellent habitat plant.

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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Oregon Mist'

(blue blossom)

Blue blossom ceanothus grows in chaparral and woodland plant communities of the outer coast ranges, from Santa Barbara, California to southern Oregon. Selected by Xera Plants, 'Oregon Mist' hails from the northern most part of its range, suggesting superior cold hardiness.  Growing 8 - 15 ft. tall and wide with deep-green shiny leaves and baby-blue flowers in narrow clusters, blooming in mid to late spring. This fast growing evergreen makes a fine stand alone specimen or as part of a shrubby border or screen, where its particularly dense form can be used to great effect. Plant in sun to light shade where it will be drought tolerant once established. An excellent addition to the habitat garden where it provides food and cover for a wide array of insects and birds. 
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark' California lilac
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark'

(California lilac)

Valued for its compact habit and late flowering, this selection offers clusters of dark blue flowers on short stems appearing just as other ceanothus are finishing their show. 4 - 5 ft. tall and 6 - 7 ft. wide with shiny evergreen foliage. This would be a ceanothus to try in hot areas. 'Skylark' is believed to be a cross between Ceanothus thyrsiflorus and C. velutinus. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry' California lilac
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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry'

(California lilac)

A beautiful large shrub or small tree 12 ft. (or more) tall and wide. Rich deep green foliage and profuse clusters of radiant pure white flowers in the spring. Adaptable, dependable and garden tolerant. Does well in coastal and inland situations. Best in full sun. 'Snow Flurry' is drought tolerant, but would appreciate a little summer water in hot regions. Not tolerant of very cold winter conditions. Selected from the Big Sur coast. Shrubby ceanothus provide seeds eaten by bushtits, mockingbirds, quail and finches, as well as cover for birds.
Ceanothus velutinus  tobacco bush
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Ceanothus velutinus

(tobacco bush)

Found primarily in the northern half of the state in the Coast Ranges, Sierras, Klamath and Modoc regions, in coniferous forests, chaparral, and various woodland environments up to 11,000 ft in elevation, the resinous floral scent and plumes of soft white flowers from spring to early summer make tobacco brush a choice evergreen shrub for dry, sunny to part-shade garden sites that drain well. Grows to 6-10 ft tall, and has large, sticky dark-green, aromatic, leathery foliage. A larval host for many native butterfly species such as the ceanothus silk moth, California tortoiseshell butterfly, and the hedgerow hairstreak butterfly. The flowers are also attractive to native bee and butterfly pollinators. Drought-tolerant once established.
Cephalanthus  occidentalis  button willow
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Cephalanthus occidentalis

(button willow)

Button willow is a large deciduous shrub, at times becoming treelike, growing 6-12 ft. (infrequently as much as 20 ft.) tall and wide. It lines waterways in foothills and warm interior valleys. Smooth, glossy bright- green leaves clothe this shrub during the growing season, turning yellow in the autumn. Creamy white flowers are arranged in spherical heads with protruding styles which give the flowers a pincushion-like appearance.  The summer blooming, fragrant flowers are extremely rich in nectar and attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.  The globe-like fruits persists into winter and attract birds. Plant in sun to light shade with regular summer water or continuously moist or wet soils.  An excellent habitat plant offering food and cover for a wide array of insects and birds.
Cercis occidentalis  western redbud
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Cercis occidentalis

(western redbud)

Beautiful in all its seasons, the native redbud is well worth growing. Highly ornamental multi-trunked shrub or small tree 6 - 20 ft. tall and wide. Masses of brilliant rose-purple blossoms in early spring followed by conspicuous long seed pods that start out lime green and age to purple-brown. The rounded heart-shaped leaves emerge apple green and develop to bluish-green. In colder areas, the leaves take a nice fall color of yellow or red. The smooth silvery-gray branches are picturesque in the winter landscape. Plant in full sun to light shade with good drainage. Drought tolerant. Important nectar and pollen source for bees. Attracts hummingbirds too.
Cercocarpus betuloides  mountain mahogany
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Cercocarpus betuloides

(mountain mahogany)

Mountain mahogany is an adaptable, semi-evergreen native shrub (8 to 12 ft. high and wide) or small tree with charming birch-like leaves set against silver-grey bark. Small, honey-scented flowers appear in spring followed by seeds with intriguing silky, curled, feather-like tails. The open habit contrasts nicely with evergreen shrubs or rock walls where its pleasing silhouette can be seen. Flowers are attractive to bees. Mountain mahogany is one of those rare native shrubs which can easily be pruned for narrow garden beds. Grows on dry slopes in chaparral or at the edges of woodlands. Provide full sun to light shade. It is surprisingly adaptable to diferent water regimes, from moderate irrigation to no water once established. Somewhat deer resistant.
Cercocarpus betuloides var. blancheae  Island mountain mahogany
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Cercocarpus betuloides var. blancheae

(Island mountain mahogany)

This rare and beautiful variety of our native mountain mahogany offers larger, birch-like leaves with fuzzy and whitish undersides. The highly useful from generally reaches 8 – 15 ft. tall, but only spreads to about 6 ft. wide, making it ideal for narrow locations where a screening, evergreen, fast-growing bush is needed. Small, disk-like, creamy flowers appear in the spring, followed in summer by seed pods with hairy, grey tails which curl upwards, giving the plant a silver halo. Over time, the trunks are covered in a smooth, grey bark. The Island mountain mahogany typically grows much more rapidly than our local variety and is tolerant of moist or dry soils once established and part shade to full sun. Heat isn’t an issue. A great candidate for a container, where it is very amenable to pruning.
Cercocarpus ledifolius  curl-leaf mountain mahogany
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Cercocarpus ledifolius

(curl-leaf mountain mahogany)

Large shrub or small, multitrunked, evergreen tree, 6 - 30 ft. tall, native to arid mountains of the western US. Often takes on a gnarled, picturesque form depending on the conditions it is growing in. Adapted to dry, rocky slopes where it weathers drought, extreme heat and cold, wind and snow. Slow growing, densely branching, with dark green, leathery leaves with curled under edges and silvery undersides. Trunks develop beautiful, red-brown bark with silvery new growth. The flowers are similar to our local mt. mahogany species, small, greenish- yellow, smelling of honey, and attractive to pollinators. The fruits are long, silvery, plumes that glow when back lit. Plant in full sun to light shade with good drainage where it will blend well with other dryland shrubs and perennials and requires little input. Fixes nitrogen. Interesting container or bonsai subject. 
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana  Lawson's cypress
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Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

(Lawson's cypress)

Plant description coming soon.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Nidiformis' dwarf Port Orford cedar
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Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Nidiformis'

(dwarf Port Orford cedar)

A very unusual and hard to find form of the native Port Orford cedar. Nidiformis is Latin for “having the form of a nest”, an apt descriptor for this dwarf with dense growth and graceful, cascading branches. The delicate, finely dissected foliage is grey-green with hints of blue, providing an excellent contrast to large-leaved, dark-colored perennials. Very slow growing, usually forming a low mound a few ft. high and several ft. wide. Needs good drainage and moderate to infrequent irrigation. Enjoys full sun near the coast, but wants some afternoon shade in hot climates. Good in a container.
Chilopsis  linearis  desert willow
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Chilopsis linearis

(desert willow)

A graceful, summer-blooming, deciduous shrub, native to desert washes where it grows in gravelly soils and intense heat. Forms a large, multi-branched shrub or small tree reaching up to about 15 ft. tall with narrow, willow-like leaves. Terminal clusters of showy, trumpet-shaped flowers in summer come in shades of white, to pink and purple that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Long, bean-like pods follow and hold on into winter. Enjoys hot climates with plenty of sun, decent drainage and occasional to moderate water. Avoid cool coastal conditions and heavy wet soils. Grows fast when happy with no pest or disease problems, demanding little. A great option for along sidewalks.
Chlorogalum angustifolium  narrowleaf soap root
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Chlorogalum angustifolium

(narrowleaf soap root)

You may be familiar with the common soap plant and its tall stalks of delicate white flowers. But this unusual, diminutive species of soap root is much smaller, only reaching 1 – 2 ft. high. Rarely offered in nurseries, this species has short, narrow leaves which are not wavy like the common soap plant. Grows in dry grassland and open woodlands in the northern Sierra foothills and coast range. Enjoys full sun to light shade and no additional irrigation once established. Tolerates clay. The seed for these plants came from Windsor and was generously given to us by Vicki Wilson.
Chlorogalum pomeridianum v. pomeridianum  soap plant
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Chlorogalum pomeridianum v. pomeridianum

(soap plant)

Known for their large, fibrous bulbs historically used by indigenous peoples and early settlers for soap, food and to stupefy fish. Long, wavy-margined leaves form a rosette in winter followed in late spring by tall, airy flower stems bearing small white flowers that open in the late afternoon and evening. Great in naturalistic settings in full sun to light shade. Needs to go summer dry once established. Larval food source for the Western Brown Elfin butterfly.
Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. chrysophylla  golden chinquapin
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Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. chrysophylla

(golden chinquapin)

Description coming soon!
Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. minor  bush chinquapin
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Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. minor

(bush chinquapin)

Description coming soon!


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