I have NEVER seen a color like the blue of this ceanothus. It’s a deep intense pure purpleblue, an amazing gigantic specimen.
Ceanothus has many ethnobotanical uses. Native Americans would mix the flowers with water to create a soapy detergent. It really works! Roots and leaves have reputed medicinal properties, and the long, flexible stems of some species are used in basket-making. The common name for Ceanothus americanus, a species from the eastern United States, is New Jersey Tea, which refers to its use during the Revolutionary War as a substitute for traditional British tea.
The camera definitely doesn’t capture the saturation of color. It’s full of the sound of buzzing BEES.
Yesterday we went for a three-hour hike in one of my favorite spots: the Daley Ranchin Escondido. While it was overcast and drizzly near the coast, Escondido is inland where it’s usually always warm and sunny. We took the Sage Trail all the way up to Stanley Peak
This is an especially lovely time of year with the ceanothus in bloom. Ceanothus blooms are rich in saponins, which produce lather when rubbed with some water; basically ceanothus flowers make soap. It really works! Try it for yourself! Pick a handful of flowers, add a little water, and rub your hands together.