Ceanothus greggii – Desert Ceanothus

Ceanothus greggii - Desert Ceanothus (flowers)

Ceanothus greggii - Desert Ceanothus

Ceanothus greggii - Desert Ceanothus

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Ceanothus greggii

Common Name: Desert Ceanothus

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Shrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert (upper elevation), Upland. This plant grows on dry, sunny slopes, usually in oak-juniper woodlands and chaparral.

Flower Color: Cream, white, blue-white or fading to pale blue

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: Up to 6 1/2 feet (2 m) tall

Description: The flowers are in dense, rounded clusters. The individual flowers are small and have 5 white, spade-shaped to manta ray-shaped petals, 5 white, folded-up, triangular sepals, and 5 stamens. The flowers are followed by round, green drying to brown seed capsules. The leaves have only one major lengthwise vein and are small, thick, leathery, dull dark green above, more velvety and paler below, opposite, oval to egg-shaped, and usually cupped. The branches are spineless and silvery gray to reddish gray in color. The plants are well-branched and erect or rounded.

The very similar Fendler's Ceanothus (Ceanothus fendleri) is usually found at higher elevations and has spine-tipped branches and leaves with 3 major lengthwise veins.

Special Characteristics

Fragrant – The flowers are very fragrant and perfume the air near the plants.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Rhamnales
Family: Rhamnaceae – Buckthorn family
Genus: Ceanothus L. – ceanothus
Species: Ceanothus greggii A. Gray – desert ceanothus

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map