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.
Ray Hartman California lilac
Ceanothus “Ray Hartman”
Size: Up to 15 feet tall
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Bloom season: Spring
Pruning needs: Little or none; prune after bloom to shape.
Exposure: Full sun.
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once or twice a month.
Snapshot: With its vibrant blue flowers, this California lilac ranks among the best for Sacramento-area gardens. The Ray Hartman hybrid of this native shrub is well-adapted to home landscapes because it can tolerate some summer irrigation. With handsome, dark-green foliage, it makes a good screen hedge or small specimen tree. Bees love it, too. You can see specimens in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus. The Sacramento Historic City Cemetery (at 1000 Broadway) also has several Ray Hartman lilacs in its California native plant demonstration garden.
• For more on the New Front Yard, click on
See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at sacbee.com/home_garden.