Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Ceanothus Azureus ‘Concha’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Ceanothus 'Concha' Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Ceanothus azureus ‘Concha’ Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 8b – 10b

Family: Rhamnaceae

Ceanothus azureus ‘Concha’ is a dense, large evergreen shrub with arching branches. Its dark green leaves are ovate with serrated margins, have a shiny upper surface and have three very prominent parallel veins. Its branches give the shrub its bushy, arching habit. Its blue fragrant flowers tiny and produced in large dense clusters. These mature into a dry three lobed seed capsule

The species Ceanothus azureus, commonly known as Californian Lilac, is native to temperate regions of Mexico. The variety Ceanothus azureus ‘Concha’  was found in a Welsh garden in Nantyderry. Ceanothus azureus ’Concha’ is synonymous with Ceanothus ‘Concha’.

The etymological root of the binomial name Ceanothus is derived from the Greek word Keanothos which was applied by Theophrastus, a Greek Philosopher to an unknown plant. Azureus is from the Latin ‘blue’ (of Lapis Lazuli).

Ceanothus 'Concha' (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Ceanothus azureus ‘Concha’ (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Ceanothus azureus ‘Concha’ useful as a robust evergreen fragrant flowering shrub. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Ecologically, C. azureus ‘Concha’ is attractive to bees and other pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given C. azureus ‘Concha’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2002.

C. azureus ‘Concha’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers neutral to alkaline pH of soil, although it will tolerate most soils.

Ceanothus azureus ’Concha’ requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out after flowering.

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