Ceanothus americanus

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Ceanothus americanus L.

Rhamnaceae

Life form: shrub

Exposure: sun   6

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: sandy clay

Arrangement: not specified
Leaves: decidious

Shape: not specified

Division: simple

Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: schizocarp

105C / 00399c 

Inflorescence: not specified

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Rosidae
Superordo:
Rhamnanae
Ordo:
Rhamnales

Ceanothus americanus, commonly known as wild snowball, is a shrub.

Naming

Ceanothus americanus was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Ceanothus americanus is a species in the genus Ceanothus which contains approximately 80 to 115 species and belongs to the family of the Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family).

Characteristics

Growth

The comparatively slow-growing shrubs have a semi-erect habit and produce multiple stems. They reach heights of 90 centimetres and spread slowly. The main growing season is in spring and summer.

Wood and Bark

Leaves

Ceanothus americanus is deciduous. The leaves are simple and dark-green.

Flowers and Fruits

Ceanothus americanus produces blue five-stellate flowers from July to September.

From summer to autumn the shrubs produce only few ornamental, edible brown schizocarps that are persistent on the plant.

Root System

Distribution

Ceanothus americanus is native to eastern Canada, the Northeast of the US, the central Northeast of the US, the southern Prairie States of the US, the Southeast of the US and Florida.

Cultivation

The shrubs prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy or sandy clay and comparatively poor with a pH between 4,3 and 6,5. The plants need a soil depth of at least 36 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -23°C (USDA zone 6) and need a frost-free period of at least 17 weeks.

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: soil salinity, anaerobic soil
  • medium: calcareous soil
  • high: drought

Uses

The ornamental value of Ceanothus americanus lies especially in its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 90 to 120 centimetres. Suited as cut flowers.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.

Propagate by sowing. The seeds require vernalization.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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