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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

RHAMNACEAE

BUCKTHORN FAMILY

John O. Sawyer, Jr. (except Ceanothus)

Shrub, vine, tree, generally erect, often thorny
Leaves simple, generally alternate, often clustered on short-shoots, generally petioled, generally stipuled; blade often 1–3-ribbed from base
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or flowers solitary in axils
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium subtending, surrounding, or partly fused to ovary; sepals 4 or 5; petals 0, 4, or 5, clawed; stamens 4 or 5, alternate sepals, attached to hypanthium top, each generally fitting into a petal concavity; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 2–5, each 1–2-ovuled, style lobes or parts 1–3
Fruit: capsule, drupe
Genera in family: 55 genera, 900 species: especially tropical, subtropical; some cultivated (Ceanothus ; Colletia , anchor-plant; Gouania ; Phylica ; Rhamnus ; Ventilago ; Ziziphus )
Reference: [Brizicky 1965 J Arnold Arbor 45:439–463]

CEANOTHUS

CALIFORNIA-LILAC

Clifford L. Schmidt

Shrub, small tree, prostrate to erect, thorny or not
Stem: branches generally arranged as leaves
Leaves alternate or opposite, deciduous or evergreen, petioled; blade 1–3-ribbed from base, margin entire or not
Inflorescence: generally panicle-like aggregations of umbel-like, 3-flowered clusters
Flower generally < 5 mm; hypanthium surrounding fleshy disk below ovary base, in fruit thick, not splitting; sepals generally 5, lanceolate-deltate, incurved, colored like petals, persistent; petals generally 5, hooded, white to deep blue; stamens generally 5, opposite petals; ovary superior, 3-lobed, chambers 3, each 1-ovuled, style parts 3
Fruit: capsule, ± spheric, 3-valved
Seeds 3, ± 3 mm, 1 surface convex
Species in genus: 45 species: North America, especially w
Etymology: (Greek: thorny plant)
Reference: [Rensselaer & McMinn 1942 Ceanothus Santa Barbara Bot Gard 1–308]
Hybridization common (named hybrids not recognized here); hybrid forms may not key adequately.

Native

C. griseus (Trel.) McMinn

CARMEL CEANOTHUS

Plant prostrate to erect, generally < 2.5 m
Stem: twigs angled, greenish brown, puberulent, not changing color
Leaves alternate, evergreen, < 6 cm; stipules deciduous; petiole 5–10 mm; blade broad- to round-ovate, 3-ribbed from base, tip obtuse, margin serrate, turned under, wavy near base, upper surface dark green, glabrous, lower gray-green, short-tomentose
Inflorescence raceme-like, dense, < 6 cm
Flower blue
Fruit generally 4 mm, shallowly 3-lobed, glandular-sticky when young, black, shiny when mature; valve crest 0
Ecology: Chaparral, coastal scrub, closed-cone-pine forests
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges.± prostrate plants in CCo (Yankee Point, Monterey Co.) have been called var. horizontalis McMinn
Horticultural information: DRN: 5, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 &IRR or part SHD: 7, 8, 9, 14, 19, 20, 21; CVS; GRCVR.

Information on Ecology was contributed by Dave Keil (May 7 2003):
Ceanothus griseus (TJM p. 936) grows in chaparral near Coon Creek in the San Luis Range

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bioregional map for CEANOTHUS%20griseus being generated
 


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