Ceanothus gloriosus 'Anchor Bay'

Anchor Bay Ceanothus

This is a very dense form of the Ceanothus gloriosus groundcover. It grows 12 to 18 inches tall and spreads 6 to 8 feet wide. It has deep blue flowers and thickly-set, glossy, holly-like leaves. This is a good groundcover for weed control due to its density and uniformity of coverage. Plant it in full sun on the coast or in light shade inland. Give it moderate water and make sure it has good drainage for best results.

Wildlife value: Ceanothus are hosts to a number of butterflies, including the Pipevine Swallowtail, Brown Elfin, Hedgerow Hairstreak, and Echo Blue. Their abundant flowers draw many insects. Ceanothus leaf litter supports plenty of invertebrates which, in turn, feed birds and lizards. The foliage provides excellent cover. The larger-leaved species are good forage for deer. Quail eat the small, hard seeds, and a number of mammals both large and small browse the twigs and foliage. 

Additional notes about Ceanothus: Many Ceanothus are prone to disease in summer-wet soils, so little watering is recommended after the plants are established. Tip-pruning will keep plants compact. Small, wrinkled, or spiny-leaved forms are usually unattractive to deer. Ceanothus roots fix nitrogen in the soil. These plants will suffer if their roots are handled. Do not pry or prune the roots.