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Ceanothus


A genus of shrubs belonging to the Rhamnaceae; composed principally of showy species, the majority of which are, however, too tender for cultivation out of doors unless the protection of a wall is given. The majority of the hardy ones are garden hybrids of Ceanothus Americanus and Ceanothus azureus, and these are among the most ornamental of flowering shrubs, commencing to blossom in June, and continuing until the middle of October. All these are excellent for specimen beds or groups in the shrubbery, and are useful alike for large or small gardens. For walls the more tender sorts are well adapted, and most of them blossom freely. The prevailing colour of the flowers in the genus is blue, though there are some with white and pinkish blossoms.

The cultivation is simple. Rich loamy soil is suitable, and all the garden varieties should be spurred back each spring to within one or two eyes of the old wood, keeping the old branches at a height of about 2 feet from the ground. The pruning of the species should be done as soon as the flowers are over, as most of them flower from the old wood. Cuttings of semi-ripe wood root readily if placed in pots in­doors in July. The following can be depended on as worthy of cultivation:

Ceanothus azureus came from Mexico in 1818, and forms a bush 6 or 8 feet high if allowed freedom. The flowers are blue.

Ceanothus divaricatus is a blue flowered evergreen from California, growing 16 or 18 feet high.

Ceanothus papillosus is a somewhat tender plant, and must have a place on a wall. It grows at least 12 feet high, and has long, narrow, sticky, glandular evergreen leaves. It was introduced from California in 1848. The flowers are blue, and borne in April and May.

Ceanothus rigiidus. - The flowers of this are very deep blue, and it is well worth a place on a south wall. The branches are very stiff and the leaves small. It was introduced from California in 1848.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus is known as the Californian Lilac. It was introduced in 1861, and is a fast grower. The flowers are blue, and borne in large compound panicles. It should have a place on a wall.

Ceanothus Veitchiamus. - This is one of the most ornamental of all. It makes a large bush 6 feet or more high, bearing small, rounded, evergreen leaves and pretty blue flowers m great profusion. The flowering in is early spring. A wall is necessary for its culture m most places. California is its home.

A select list of garden varieties should include Albert Pittet, rose lilac; Asteroide, blue; Bijou, blue; Ceres, rose; George Simon, rose ;Gloire de Plantieres, blue ;Gloire de Versailles, blue; Indigo, blue; and Marie Simon, rose.