Ceanothus coeruleus Lag.


C. azureus Desf.

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A deciduous shrub up to 8 ft high; with the young wood, leaf-stalks, and flower-stalks, also the under-surface of the leaves, covered with a greyish down or felt. Leaves alternate, ovate, 1 to 2 in. long, toothed, thick and felted beneath in a wild state, thinner and less downy under cultivation here. Flowers of a deep blue, and arranged in dense clusters on the upper part of panicles 3 to 6 in. long, which appear in the leaf-axils towards the end of the current season's growth.

Native of Mexico, whence it was introduced in 1818, and of Guatemala. It is not thoroughly hardy at Kew except against a wall. One of the parents of the numerous race of garden hybrids (see C. × delilianus), its influence is always traceable in the fine blue flowers, the downy leaves, and often the tender con­stitution of its progeny. The typical plant, which flowers from July until the first frosts of autumn, is now uncommon.



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