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Plant Profile: Woollyleaf ceanothus

A bright, beautiful shrub species, the woollyleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus tomentosus) is part of the Buckthorn family and is commonly found in the foothills of San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties.
Often growing in chaparral, coastal sage scrub, coastal strand and foothill woodland plant communities, the woollyleaf ceanothus can be identified by clusters of blue to white flowers and alternately arranged leaves with tiny hairy teeth on the edges that feel woolly on the undersides.
This species does best in full sun and on slopes that retain plenty of moisture. After the rainy season, woollyleaf ceanothus plants can fill the hillsides of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks with beautiful, colorful blooms.
Keep a lookout for woollyleaf ceanothus on your next outing on the Landmarks! To learn more about native plants found on the Landmarks, visit