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Ceanothus americanus

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Pronunciation: see-uh-NOE-thus uh-mair-ih-KAY-nus
Family: Rhamnaceae
Common Name: New Jersey Tea, Mountain Sweet, Redroot, Wild Snowball
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 4 feet (1.2m)
Width to: 5 feet (1.5m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) bears white flowers in terminal panicles, 1-2in (2.5 to 5cm) long
Soil Type: prefers fertile, well drained soil.
Plant Perks:
  • Attracts Butterflies
Pests and Diseases: susceptible to dieback, powdery mildew, mushroom root rot, fungal leaf spots, verticillium wilt, caterpillars, scale insects, lacebug, mealybugs.
Propagation: sow New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) seed in an open frame in autumn. Root greenwood cuttings in mid or late summer.
Native to: North America from Manitoba to Maine south to Alabama and Florida
Winter Sowing Zones: 4-8
Notes for Identification:

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a low growing, broad, compact, deciduous shrub that can tolerate poor growing conditions.

The dried leaves of this nitrogen-fixing shrub make an excellent tea that was very popular during the Revolutionary War period.

Seed Collection: Collect seeds in late summer and early fall. Because dry capsules disperse their seed abruptly with a sudden ejection, it may be necessary to tie cloth bags around the clusters of capsules to catch the seeds.


Seed Treatment: Scarification may be necessary and can be accomplished by soaking the seeds in hot water (180-200 degrees). Soak in cooling water 24 hours. Stratify all seeds for 60-90 days at 41 degrees.

Source: Various resources including The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

 

A caterpillar host for: Spring Azure, Summer Azure

Butterfly host for Hoary Edge

 

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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