Ceanothus cuneatus

T. Nuttall ex Torrey & Gray Fl. N. Amer. 1:267. 1838


Habit: Shrubs to 3 m;

Stems: erect to +/- prostrate, rooting at nodes or not; twigs gray to brown, in age gray or brown, round, smooth or slightly ridged, glabrous or pubescent, rigid.

Leaves: evergreen, opposite; clustered or not, stipules persistent; petioles 2--3 mm; blades oblong, oblanceolate, or obovate to roundish, 0.5--3.2 x 0.2--1.6 cm, bases cuneate, 1-veined, margins not revolute, entire or with spine-like t eeth, tips obtuse, rounded, truncate or notched, abaxially variously green, +/- hairy on veins, adaxially dull to shiny green, +/- glabrous, plane or +/- cupped.

Inflorescences: axillary or terminal, umbel-like, 0.8--3.2 cm.

Flowers: white, pale blue, blue, or lavender.

Fruits: globose, 4--6 mm broad; usually with minute horns on valve shoulders or laterally; valve crests 0.

Varieties: (3 in the flora): Calif., Oreg., Mexico in n Baja California

1. Flowers white to pale blue to lavender

2. Leaves closely clustered, blades narrow-oblanceolate to oblong, margines entire or few-toothed near tips: b. Ceanothus cuneatus var. fascicularis.

2. Leaves not closely clustered, blades oblanceolate to obovate or rounded, margins entire: a. Ceanothus cuneatus var. cuneatus.

1. Flowers bright to pale blue; leaves not clustered, blades oblanceolate to round-ovate, margins toothed above middle or entire: c. Ceanothus cuneatus var. rigidus.

a. Ceanothus cuneatus (W. J. Hooker) T. Nuttall ex Torrey & Gray var. cuneatus


C. cuneatus var. dubius , J. T. Howell; C. cuneatus var. ramulosus E. Greene; C. cuneatus var. submontanus , (J.N. Rose) H.E. McMinn; C. oblanceolatus A. Davidson; C. ramulosus (E. Greene) H. McMinn; Rhamnus cuneatus W. J. Hooker


Habit: Shrub to 3 m.

Stems: erect, rarely decumbent or prostrate, may root at nodes; twigs usually light gray, becoming gray, rounded, pubescent, rigid.

Leaves: not clustered; petioles 2--3 mm; blades oblanceolate to obovate or nearly round, 1.0--3.2 (4.0) x 0.5--1.6 cm, bases cuneate, margins entire, tips obtuse to notched, abaxially minutely canescent, adaxially usually dull green, g labrous or puberulent, plane.

Inflorescences: axillary, 0.9--2.8 cm, umbel-like.

Flowers: white or pale blue to lavender.

Fruits: globose, 5--6 mm broad; horns 0 or minute, some slender on shoulder.

Cytology: 2n = 24. (M. A. Nobs in H. E. McMinn, 1942)

Flowering: in early spring--early summer

Habitat: dry rocky slopes, ridges, incl sands, serpentine; under 1800 m.

Range: Calif., Oreg.; Mexico in n Baja California. View Distribution Map.

OTHER INFORMATION: C. cuneatus var. cuneatus in its widespread range encounters other species in Subgenus Cerastes. What has been called C. ramulosus with its usually lavender flowers appears to have resulted by introgression between var. cuneatus and var. rigidus south of San Francisco Bay. Flower-color varies within a stand from whitish to lavender. [R.F. Hoover 1970 ] North of the San Francisco Bay similar introgression seemingly occurs between C. cuneatus var. cuneatus and C. gloriosus. [M. A. Nobs 1963] This lavender-flowered form of C. cuneatus var. cuneatus tends to be coastward of the usual white-flowered variety. C. cuneatus var. dubius, with leaves to 4.0 cm long and with somewhat silky hairs abaxially; Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, California. C. cuneatus var. submontanus has some adaxial leaf surfaces concave; found in localities where var. cuneatus comes into contract with C. greggii var. vestitus. [McMinn 1942] C. oblanceolatus has narrowly oblanceolate leaves, blades 1.2--2.0 cm, plane; flowers white; Los Angeles and Humboldt counties, California. [McMinn 1942] Some putative hybrids involving C. cuneatus var. cuneatus include the following: C. X connivens (E. Greene) H.E. McMinn, low shrub with weak, trailing branches; fruits with appressed horns connivent, or nearly so over the fruit apex. Possibly C. prostraus X C. cuneatus var. cu neatus. [H.E. McMinn 1942] C. X flexilis H.E. McMinn, prostrate to suberect shrubs; leaves seem to be intermediate between C. cuneatus var. cuneatus and C. prostratus ; flowers pale blue, lavender or white; ne Shas ta, Lassen and sw Modoc counties, California. [H.E. McMinn 1942]

b. Ceanothus cuneatus (W. J. Hooker) T. Nuttall ex Torrey & Gray var. fascicularis (H. McMinn) R. F. Hoover

Leafl. W. Bot. 10: 350. 1966

C. ramulosus (E. Greene) H. E. McMinn var. fascicularis H. E. McMinn


Habit: Shrubs 0.6--2.5 m.

Stems: erect spreading, rooting at nodes; twigs brown, glabrous, rigid.

Leaves: evergreen, opposite; clustered; petioles to 3 mm; blades narrow-oblanceolate, oblong, 0.5--2.0 x 0.3--0.7 cm, bases cuneate, margins entire or few-toothed near tip, tips rounded, truncate or notched, abaxially minutely canesc ent, adaxially usually dull green, glabrous, plane.

Inflorescences : axillary, 1.0--2.0 cm., umbel-like.

Flowers: lavender, pale blue to +/- white.

Fruits: globose, 4--5 mm; horns minute or 0; valve crests 0.

Cytology: 2 n = 24 (M.A. Nobs, 1963)

Flowering: in early to late spring.

Habitat: Chaparral, coastal, sandy mesas; under 400 m.

Range: Calif., s CCo (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo cos.) View Distribution Map.

c. Ceanothus cuneatus (W. J. Hooker) T. Nuttall ex Torrey & Gray var. rigidus R. F. Hoover

Leafl. W. Bot. 10: 350. 1966

Monterey ceanothus

C. rigidus T. Nuttall


Habit: Shrubs to 1,5 m.

Stems: +/- prostrate to erect, much branched; twigs brown, round, tomentose, becoming dark gray, rigid.

Leaves: 0.5--1.5 x 0.2--0.8 cm; petioles to 2 mm; blades oblanceolate to round-obovate, margins toothed above middle or entire, , abaxially pale green, puberulent between veins, adaxially usually +/- cupped, dark green, glabrous. < p> Inflorescences: axillary, raceme-like, including peduncles 0.7--1.2 cm.

Flowers: bright to pale blue.

Fruits: +/- 5 mm; horns minute, lateral.

Cytology: n = 12 (M. A. Nobs in H. E. McMinn, 1942)

Flowering: in early to late spring.

Habitat: UNCOMMON Sandy hills, flats, closed-cone pine forest, brush. under 200 m. s SnFrB, CCo.

Range: View Distribution Map.

OTHER INFORMATION: Calif. Native Plant List 4: R-E-D Code: 1-2-3 State/Fed. Status: /C2. Threatened by development. Intergrades with C. var.fascicularis in San Luis Obispo Co., CA. [Skinner, M. W. and B. M. Pavlik, eds.. 1994] A single plant with white flowers which has repeatedly been found and lost at Yankee Point (Carmel Highlands) near Monterey, California, was named C. rigidus var. albus by J. B. Roof. [J. B. Roof 1967] Cultivars, 'Albus' and 'Snowball', are propagated horticulturally. [J.E. Keeley and M. B. Keeley 1994]

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This document was last updated: Sunday, 03-Mar-1996 21:33:26 PST