Ceanothus 'Wheeler Canyon' (Wheeler Canyon Ceanothus) - A broadly vase-shaped, evergreen shrub 4 to 6 feet tall with a 4 to 8 foot spread. Its narrow, inch-long, glossy leaves have a crinkled texture and the 2-inch long clusters of rich blue flowers emerge from burgundy-colored buds and bracts in early spring. Best suited to coastal conditions but can also be grown in warmer inland sites when given periodic deep watering in summer.
Plant in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil. Hardy to 15 degrees F. ‘Wheeler Canyon’ is effective on banks and slopes, as a backdrop in mixed borders, or as an informal hedge.
The original plant of this cultivar was discovered along the roadside in Wheeler Gorge, Ventura County, by Horticulturist Dara Emery of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. It is thought to be a Ceanothus papillosus var. roweanus hybrid and was introduced by this garden in the early 1980s. 'Wheeler Canyon' and 'Concha' are easily confused but 'Wheeler Canyon' has lighter blue flowers, a slightly broader leaf, smaller overall size, and perhaps greater cold tolerance. We grew this plant from 1982 until 2014.
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.
Information about Ceanothus 'Wheeler Canyon' 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.