Deer Brush;  Ceanothus integerrimus

Mid Bloomer.  Shrub, long spikes of delicate white to blue flowers.

Notes:  Buckthorn family.  Also called California Lilac or Wild Lilac.  This is a graceful, fragrant shrub, 3' to 12 tall with Lilac-shaped flowers blooming April to May.  Prefers dry slopes.  The bark and roots were used as an astringent and tonic; it used today for that purpose. The roots were used to make a dye.  The leaves can be smoked like tobacco. There are many species (at least 45, mostly in the west) which easily hybridize, making identification difficult.  USDA lists 64 Species and 85 accepted taxa overall for genus ceanothus,  which comes from the Greek meaning thorny.

Click on species name below to go to USDA for this species.

Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
    Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
        Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants
            Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants
                Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons
                    Subclass Rosidae
                        Order Rhamnales
                            Family Rhamnaceae -- Buckthorn family
                                Genus Ceanothus L. -- ceanothus P
                                    Species Ceanothus integerrimus Hook. & Arn. 
                                    -- deerbrush

Deer Brush (Ceanothus integerrimus)
Brother Alfred Brousseau,
Courtesy of St. Mary's College of California.

Deer Brush (Ceanothus integerrimus)
Photo by Brother Alfred Brousseau