Virginia Tech Dendrology

mahala mat Rhamnaceae Ceanothus prostratus Benth. Listen to the Latin symbol: CEPR
Leaf: Opposite, simple, persistent, small (1/4 to 1 inch long), thick and leathery, narrow with sparse sharp teeth near apex, dark green and shiny above and paler below, petiole very short.
Flower: Perfect and complete small blue to lavender flowers borne in loose terminal clusters.
Fruit: Small, almost round capsule up to 1/4 inch in diameter, each lobe has a dorsal horn, occur in clusters.
Twig: Lateral branchlets are short, rigid, and spur-like, opposite, initially reddish brown and hairy, but turning smooth and gray.
Bark: Reddish brown and smooth when young, becoming gray-brown with age.
Form: A prostrate evergreen shrub that forms dense carpet-like mats up to 10 feet across; branches often root at their nodes.
Looks like: Point Reyes ceanothus - narrowleaf buckbrush - blueblossom - snowbrush
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Ceanothus prostratus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting mahala mat.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson