Evergreen Ceanothus

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Evergreen Ceanothus, known as California Lilac, are magnificent bushes with blue flowers that often bloom in spring, less commonly in autumn, and retain their foliage in winter. Less hardy than summer Ceanothus such as Gloire de Versailles, these Ceanothus are however well adapted to summer drought amd Mediterranean climate and coastal areas. From the ground cover Ceanothus thyrsifolius Repens not exceeding 1m (3ft) in height, to small trees reaching up to 4 m (13ft) such as Ceanothus arboreus 'Trewithen Blue', and including the magnificent cultivars 'Skylark', 'Concha', 'Vicoria' or 'Puget Blue', numerous varieties and hybrids with a spreading or upright habit are now available. The whole range of blues is present in these bushes, from sky blue to violet blue. The flowers, honey-scented, are pleasantly fragrant. The small leaves of the evergreen Ceanothus are glossy, generally a more or less dark green. Some recent varieties have variegated foliage (Ceanothus 'Cool Blue') or even purple in the case of 'Tuxedo'.

Evergreen Ceanothus are plants of chaparral, scrub vegetation and other Californian garrigues that are satisfied once well rooted with rainwater. On the other hand permanently wet soil, thanks to daily/overly frequent watering, is generally a death warrant. They do not all have the same tolerance to limestone, so it is important to choose the appropriate variety for your garden. For admirers of blue flowers, horticulturists have 'invented' beautiful varieties of Ceanothus in recent years that are easier to acclimatise and of more modest dimensions, adapted to modern gardens, and even terraces.

 

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