snowbrush Rhamnaceae Ceanothus velutinus
Leaf:Alternate, simple, persistent, ovate to ovate-elliptical, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, thick, dark green and shiny above and paler below, margins serrated, 3-veined from the base. Leaves are sticky and have a sickeningly sweet odor when rubbed or when weather is warm.
Flower:Perfect and complete small white flowers borne in large, dense clusters up to 5 inches long (giving rise to the name snowbrush).
Fruit:Small, 3-lobed, rounded capsule up to 3/16 inch in diameter, occur in clusters; tiny dark seeds with very hard seed coats; need to be heated by fire in order to germinate.
Twig:Stout, smooth, and green in color.
Bark:Grayish brown and smooth.
Form:An erect, often sprawling, evergreen shrub up to 10 feet tall with stout, green branches. Often forms thickets from basal sprouts.