Ceanothus megacarpus Nutt.

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An evergreen shrub up to 12 ft high; branches slender, finely downy when young. Leaves alternate, entire, obovate to oval, tapered at the base, rounded or notched at the apex, 12 to 114 in. long, glabrous above; the under-surface is finely and closely downy and prettily marked with numerous, closely set, parallel veins; stalk 18 in. or less long. Flowers white, 15 in. wide, produced in several umbels each about 12 in. wide on short twigs from late March to May; stalks glabrous, very slender. Fruit up to 38 in. wide, subglobose with a distinct rim and several horns.

Native of California, originally collected by Wm Lobb in the early fifties of last century. It needs wall protection, preferably south, in most parts of Britain and is about the earliest to flower in this country.



Other species in the genus