Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, oval, 1 to 3 inches long, thick, entire margins, shiny green and glabrous above and paler below; leaves may be toothed on vigorous shoots.
Flower: Perfect and complete small white to pale lilac flowers borne in long terminal or axillary clusters; appearing February to May.
Fruit: Small, round to triangular, sticky capsule up to 3/16 inch in diameter' each lobe is ridged.
Twig: Slender, smooth, angled, and stiff, often terminating in thorns; bright green to tannish green.
Bark: Initially bright green, becoming gray and rough.
Form: An erect, loosely branched shrub or small tree to 20 feet tall.
Looks like: whitethorn ceanothus - snowbrush - redstem ceanothus - deerbrush
Additional Range Information: Ceanothus spinosus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 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 map source information