blueblossom Rhamnaceae Ceanothus
thyrsiflorus Eschsch. symbol: CETH
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, ovate to elliptical, 3/4 to 2 inches long, dark glossy above and paler below; margins serrated, gland-tipped, and sometimes revolute; 3-veined from the base.
Flower: Perfect and complete small blue or lavender flowers (rarely white) borne in dense clusters up to 3 inches long, appearing in early to mid-summer.
Fruit: Small, 3-lobed, rounded capsule up to 3/16 inch in diameter, sticky, almost black, occur in clusters; split open to release tiny, smooth, black seeds.
Twig: Slender, green, and distinctly ribbed for 2 to 3 years, then turning smooth and reddish brown.
Bark: Thin and reddish brown, smooth when young but roughens with age.
Form: An erect, loosely branched shrub up to 12 feet tall, or a small tree up to 20 feet tall, may be prostrate on exposed sites.
Looks like: whitethorn ceanothus - snowbrush - redstem ceanothus - deerbrush
Additional Range Information: Ceanothus thyrsiflorus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting blueblossom.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)