Ceanothus americanus L.
Ceanothus americanus, commonly known as wild snowball, is a shrub.
Ceanothus americanus was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
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
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.
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.
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 -23Â°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
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.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe 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.