CPC Plant Profile: San Diego Ceanothus
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Plant Profile

San Diego Ceanothus (Ceanothus cyaneus)

Grounds of Aquarium N Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA. Photo Credit: Anne Reeves © 2013
Description
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Rhamnaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 142474
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 09/23/2021

C. cyaneus is a rare shrub that can grow up to 5 meters in height, produce grayish-green branches with clusters of bright blue and lavender flowers. Its flowering season occurs throughout winter and spring, providing a pleasant fragrance in the colder part of the year (CNPS 2014).

Participating Institutions
Updates
Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/18/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In 2021, CPC contracted the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, San Diego Zoo Global holds 5 accessions of Ceanothus cyaneus in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 405905 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 3 accessions of Ceanothus cyaneus in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 80698 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, San Diego Zoo Global has collected 5 seed accessions of Ceanothus cyaneus from 4 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 229 maternal plants

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Ceanothus cyaneus
Authority Eastw.
Family Rhamnaceae
CPC Number 849
ITIS 28461
USDA CECY
Common Names Lakeside Ceanothus | San Diego Ceanothus | San Diego Buckbrush | San Diego Mountain Lilac
Associated Scientific Names Ceanothus cyaneus
Distribution This evergreen shrub has been observed in several areas throughout the Peninsular Range of San Diego County, specifically areas including Del Mar, Cuyamaca Peak, El Cajon, Otay Mesa, and even more north in the Cleveland National Forest (CNPS 2015). It can survive at high altitudes, up to 1500 meters (CNPS 2014).
State Rank
State State Rank
California S2
Habitat

Areas that are dense with chaparral suit C. cynaeus best, as it can grow on dry substrates that cover rocky slopes, foothills and inland valleys. It thrives best on north-facing slopes, but can also grow on east- or west-facing slopes if there water supply nearby (CNPS 2014). Although drought and heat tolerant, this shrub needs a some water to nourish it through the dry summer months (Plant Lust).

Ecological Relationships

Associated plant species include native manzanitas, toyon, lemonadeberry, California brittlebrush, sagebrush, California buckwheat, chamise, bush rue, tree poppy, thickleaf yerba santa, Fremontodendron (flannel bush) species, Malacothamnus (mallow) species, shrub oak trees, Salvia (sage) species, Dudleya (succulent) species, and various cacti species (CNPS 2014). A pollinator study conducted by Klein (2009) found common pollinators species that often visited C. cyaneus flowers included: bee species in the Andrenidae and Apidae families, as well as beetles in the Melyridae family. Other possible pollinators could be bee flies in the Bombyliidae family and flower flies in the Syrphidae family. Bees ultimately dominated as this taxon's main pollinators, with more efficiency over beetle, fly, and butterfly species, although their large size often ruined this shrub's delicate flowers (Klein 2009).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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