One of our huge ceanothus bushes just finished blooming, and so I thought I’d tell you a little about Henry’s collection of ceanothus varieties.
Ceanothus is the genus name for a group of nitrogen-fixing shrubs of various sizes. Many ceanothus varieties have been bred for their ornamental qualities, specifically their showy (usually) blue flowers.
All the photos in this post are of one ‘Victoria’ bush, but around our place we also have ‘darkstar’ (with tiny leaves), ’point reyes’ (a creeping groundcover), ‘concha’, ‘Italian skies’ (a late bloomer), ‘velutinus’, ‘sanguineus’ (a native, deciduous shrub with white flowers that was growing here before we arrived), ‘cuneatus’ (another native variety that Henry planted here), and several weird crosses with which Henry is experimenting.
Most of our ceanothus bushes are planted on the hill across the driveway from the cabin, so I get to look out the windows of the kitchen and admire the blue blooms.
The earliest ceanothus plants start blooming in mid-May, and they last ones wind down in mid-July. Their flowers are a great source of pollen and nectar for Henry’s honeybees as well as bumblebees and the many kinds of solitary bees that we have around here.
When one of these ceanothus bushes is in full bloom, the whole thing will be buzzing loudly with insect activity.