Ceanothus maritimus 'Point Sierra' (Maritime Ceanothus) – A slow-growing, long-lived groundcover is 2 to 3 feet tall by up to 5 feet wide with 1/4 to 1/2 inch-long, leathery, bicolored leaves that are ash-green on the upper surface and hairy white below and tightly held along the flattened stems. The blue-violet flowers emerge from dusty white buds in late winter.
Plant in full sun to light shade in a well drained soil and water sparingly for best results. This plant performs best in coastal climates but has also proved successful in inland gardens.
A selection of Ceanothus maritimus from the hills south of Arroyo de la Cruz in San Luis Obispo County. Dave Fross selected both Ceanothus maritimus 'Pt. Sierra' and Ceanothus maritimus 'Frosty Dawn' at the same location and date in 1985. In the book Ceanothus that he coauthored with Dieter Wilken, he notes that "The arching branches and small-ranked leaves give 'Point Sierra' the appearance of a cotoneaster." This cultivar is noted as being more heat tolerant than the species. We have grown this great groundcover since 2012.
The genus name comes from the Greek word keanthos which was used to describe a type of thistle and meaning a "thorny plant" or "spiny plant" and first used by Linnaeus in 1753 to describe New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus americanus. The specific epithet is from the Latin word meaning "of the sea" in reference to where this plant grows.
Information about Ceanothus maritimus 'Point Sierra' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.