Far Out Flora – Ceanothus Calling in New Year

2011 is just around the corner. Funny how holidays trigger the need to start looking for specific flowers. We’re just starting to catch the first blooms of the Ceanothus, and there’s a ton of small patches around the ’hood.

Ceanothus griseus horizontalis

The California native Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis, or Carmel Creeper, is the most widely used California Lilac around the neighborhood, especially in Golden Gate Park. This guy likes hanging out by the beach. It’s adapted to our Mediterranean climate, so no extra water is necessary to keep it happy. It’s a lower-growing spreader with beautiful violet flowers. It’s easy to prune, too!

Ceanothus Mount Hood

Here’s a sweet cultivar that we recently saw, Ceanothus “Mount Hood.” Notice how the leaves are smaller on this guy. Basically, variations you’re gonna see are clusters of flowers in shades of blue to purple, and foliage of light green to almost black. Here’s another view.

Ceanothus Mount Hood 2

Ceanothus “Concha,” though a cultivar, was probably derived from California natives. The flowers are bluer than many other Ceanothus.

Ceanothus Concha

Hey, did you know that you can rub the Ceanothus flowers together in your hands and make a soap-like lather? It may not clean your hands, but they will smell great.

See you in 2011. Megan and Matti – Far Out Flora

We (Matti and Megan) live in San Francisco near Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park. Plants are awesome. We like to do interesting things with them. Succulents, bromeliads, carnivores and other unusual plants are our favorites. Both of us graduated from UW-Madison with art degrees. Matti works for an art gallery and Megan works for a home staging company. We’re originally from the great state of Wisconsin. Before moving to San Francisco we lived in Madison off of Willy Street Our dog Max is too smart for his own good. He makes us check out beaches all over the coast.

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