New Front Yard: Concha ceanothus gives native garden the blues

04/26/2014 12:00 AM

10/04/2014 12:45 AM

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum “New Front Yard” series, 41 drought-tolerant and beautiful plants well adapted to our region.

Concha ceanothus

Ceanothus “Concha”

Size: 4 to 6 feet tall

Bloom season: Spring

Pruning needs: Prune to shape after spring flowering, then little or none.

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.

Snapshot: One of the best California native lilacs for the drought-tolerant garden, Concha looks good year-round with dark green leaves. In spring, this shrub is covered with deep-blue flowers with reddish bracts, making it a favorite for beneficial insects. Ceanothus, nicknamed California native lilacs, aren’t related to “true lilacs” ( Syringa), which are native to southeastern Europe and eastern Asia. Fragrant like their lilac namesake, these California natives thrive with a lot less water. Concha also is an Arboretum All-Star. You can see specimens in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants and Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus.

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See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at .

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