Magical Purple-Blue Ceanothus

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.

#WordlessWednesday

Daley Ranch Hike

Only about twenty minutes away in Escondido, there’s nothing like the Daley Ranch nature preserve for an array of views on a mostly clear, sunny day.

My favorite ceanothus in blue.

This ranch house that we see today was built in 1925 as a summer cottage for the Daley family.

Visit http://daleyranch.org/ for all the facts and other interesting info about the land that was designated as a conservation mitigation bank to be preserved in perpetuity. 

Hiking through the Daley Ranch

Yesterday we went for a three-hour hike in one of my favorite spots: the Daley Ranch in 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.

Ramona Lilac Ceanothus

Ramona lilac ceanothus Lilac ceanothus

As you can see off in the distance, it was a very hazy day near the coast.

Stanley peak

White Lilac Ceanothus

white lilac ceanothus

The Ranch House

Daley Ranch House

A forest of Monkey Flower, a California Native

monkeyflower