Virginia Tech Dendrology

whitethorn ceanothus Rhamnaceae Ceanothus cordulatus Kellogg Listen to the Latin symbol: CECO
Leaf: Alternate, simple, persistent, ovate to elliptical in shape, about 1 inch long, 3-veined with rounded bases, entire margins, and acute to obtuse tips, light green to gray-green above, paler gray-green and glabrous or slightly pubescent, especially along veins below.
Flower: Small white, fragrant flowers in a dense panicle-like inflorescence, 1 to 2 inches across, appearing in the spring and early summer.
Fruit: 3-lobed capsule, 1/6 inch across, rough in texture, and slightly sticky when young.
Twig: Rigid and spiny at the tip, terminal branchlets are thin and divergent.
Bark: Smooth, older bark is whitish with yellow-green spiny branchlets.
Form: Perennial native, spiny shrub with an intricate branching pattern and a spreading (3 to 6 feet) habit and smooth whitish bark.
Looks like: narrowleaf buckbrush - snowbrush - deerbrush - Fendler's ceanothus
leaf flower twig form1 map
Additional Range Information: Ceanothus cordulatus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting whitethorn ceanothus.
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