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Products > Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman'
Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' - Ray Hartman Wild Lilac
Image of Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorns)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
California Native (Plant List): Yes
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [C. 'Blue Sky']
Parentage: (C. arboreus x C. thyrsiflorus var. griseus)
Height: 12-20 feet
Width: 10-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15° F
Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' (Ray Hartman Wild Lilac) - A fast-growing, evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches 10 to 20 feet tall with an equal width. This popular cultivar has large, rounded, dark green leaves and medium blue flowers in 3 to 5 inch-long spikes that appear in late winter through early spring.

Plant in full sun to light shade in most any soil, as this cultivar is surprisingly tolerant of heavy clay as well as light, sandy soil. It is thoroughly drought tolerant but accepts periodic summer irrigation. Hardy to 10 degrees F and severely damaged below 5 degrees F. Will need protection from deer that browse the soft new growth. Thrives in cool coastal gardens but also tolerates inland heat. A beautiful, reliable, and long-lived ceanothus that can perform admirably as a focal point or screen for 20 years or more, especially when pruned occasionally to enhance its overall form.

Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' is a hybrid of Ceanothus arboreus and Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. griseus that was collected near the town of Saratoga, a suburb of San Jose, and grown by Leonard Coates Nurseries, then owned by Ray Hartman and located in nearby Morgan Hill. The plant was originally introduced in the late 1940s under the name ‘Blue Sky’. In 1950 Hartman helped established the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation and in 1954 it was introduced by the foundation and renamed 'Ray Hartman' in recognition of all he had done on behalf of California’s native flora. We have offered this great plant since 1980 and grow it both as a shrub and also trained up as a small tree.

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

This information about Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.