The Santa Barbara Ceanothus is a chaparral shrub that’s endemic to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties in California. Within the chaparral communities, Ceanothus impressus is found growing in sandy sediment from the inland areas that are predominantly sandstone to the coastal sand dunes within maritime chaparral. Within these habitat preferences, C. impressus is known to favor areas that were historically impacted by wildfire and has commonly been found to coexist with local Manzanita species including Arctostaphylos tomentosa (Woolyleaf Manzanita). Though this species is currently unranked in the state of California, the global conservation status of this species is Imperiled.
Ceanothus impressus var. impressus—Santa Barbara ceanothus. Restricted to western Santa Barbara County. One of the parents of several of the most popular ceanothus hybrids. Lives up to it’s Latin name in the truly impressive selection C. impressus ‘Vandenberg’. . Photographed with Olympus Pen E-PL1 with Canon 100 mm FD macro lens. Focus Stacking of 11 images with Zerene Stacker software. Plant is at Regional Parks Botanic Garden located in Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: © 2014 John Rusk
Rhamnaceae - Endemic to California; C. impressus 'Vandenderg' discovered on Vandenberg Air Force Base site in Santa Barbara County, California
Santa Barbara Ceanothus
Notable for its tiny leaves (12-13mm in length) and compact, dense habit
Shown: Densely foliaged branch in full flower in early spring
Photographed in U.C. Botanical Garden at Berkeley - Berkeley, California Photo Credit: © 2009 James Gaither
Photo Credit: © 2009 James Gaither
Ceanothus impressus is a member of the chaparral community that prefers sandy mesa or sand dunes. Other potential growing sites includes areas that had historically been impacted by wildfires.
C. impressus shares a beneficial relationship with pollinating bees and butterflies including Pale Swallowtails (Papilio eurymedon) and Pacuvius Duskywings (Erynnis pacuvius).
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