Californian Lilac Overview
Ceanothus is a genus with over 60 mostly evergreen shrub and small tree species. These beautiful plants are grown for their impressive display of tiny blue-purple, pink or white, occasionally fragrant flowers. The flowers appear spring, early summer or autumn, depending on which species you have. Ceanothus can be grown as free-standing trees or trained up against a wall, adding structure and colour to any garden. Their drought tolerance and low maintenance requirements make them a popular choice for Mediterranean-style or dry gardens. Many are commonly known by the name Californian Lilac, some plants in this genus go by the names California Lilac, Wild Lilac and Soap Bush. Ceanothus prefer a sunny sheltered spot with only a light annual prune. In exposed sites, Californian Lilacs can experience some frost damage so it is best to choose a deciduous cultivar that will not suffer as much. A member of the Rhamnaceae family, these plants are native to North America, where they grow in dry, hilly habitats, ranging from open forestland to coastal scrub. Although they are fast-growing, they can be short-lived.