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Ceanothus pollen
ceanothus colorCeanothus tree
Ceanothus Ray Hartman

'Ray Hartman' has glossy evergreen leaves and greeenish smooth bark. It grows well in sand, salt spray and needs little summer water after it is established. It can be trained as a large shrub or a small tree. It grows very fast - 10 feet in 18 months! 'Ray Hartman' is one of the showiest ceanothus with long clusters vividly colored flowers. Blooms in early February with lavendar blue flowers that provide many weeks (some say months) of spectacular color. Drainage is a must, but generally not a problem in Marina!

There are many varieties of Ceanothus which grow well in Marina. Unlike 'Ray Hartman' which can can grow to small tree proportions, most Ceanothus are shrubs. More information aboutother varieties of ceanothus can be found on this link at Las Plitas Nursery.

Pests are few, although aphids and white flies can be present with an unhappy plant. Overwatering is the fastest way to kill any Ceanothus and are not suggested to plant near lawns. Generally ceanothus are short lived compared with some other california natives, although 'Ray Hartman is reported to live 20-25 years if given ideal growing conditions (no overwatering).

All varieties of Ceanothus are important nectar and pollen plants for native bees, pollinators and honey bees in the late winter and early spring here on the central coast.

Maximum height
15-20 feet tall & wide

Life Span
20-25 years


Criteria for Ranking

Ranking
1 (low) - 5 (high)

Drought Tolerance after first year establishment 5
Wind Tolerance 5*
Frost Tolerance 5
Surface Roots/Sidewalk Lifting 5
Power Lines Proximity

5 (good choice)
Cost/Maintenance 5
Disease Resistance/Hardiness 5
   
*note asterisk denote species will be shaped by a prevailing wind. Single trunk trained trees need more protection than multi-trunk to grow straight.

Location The Korean Baptist Church on Beach Street has a fine early spring/late winter show of lavendar blue ceanothus trees in the parking lot.