Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Ceanothus greggii, Desert Ceanothus

Ceanothus greggii, Desert CeanothusCeanothus greggii, Desert CeanothusCeanothus greggii, Desert CeanothusCeanothus greggii, Desert CeanothusCeanothus greggii, Desert Ceanothus

Scientific Name: Ceanothus greggii
Common Name: Desert Ceanothus
Also Called:
Family: Rhamnaceae or Buckthorn Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial.
Size: Up to 5 feet, but usually much smaller.
Growth Form: Shrub; erect; twigs are round, gray, pubescence is tomentose plants semi-evergreen.
Leaves: Green; shape variable, elliptical to obovate to oblanceolate; texture thick, somewhat leathery; pubescence also variable; opposite, stipules present; short petioles, margins variable, entire to dentate; top and bottom leaf surface gray-canescent.
Flower Color: Whitish, bluish or pinkish; fragrant flowers in tight clusters; inflorescence small often not surpassing the leaves, raceme-like.
Flowering Season: March to May, occasionally again in September with sufficient monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: 3,000 to 7,000 feet; 900 to 6,500 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Dry slopes, very common in Chaparral communities, desert mountains.

Recorded Range: Ceanothus greggii is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX, UT. In Arizona it is found almost throughout the state in preferred habitats above 3,000 feet. It is also native to Baja California and northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Ceanothus greggii.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 64 species and 87 accepted taxa overall for Ceanothus. World wide, The Plant List includes 62 accepted species names with 132 taxa overall.

In Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Utah there are 4 species of Ceanothus, in California there are 45 species, Nevada has 5 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 4 varieties in Ceanothus greggii;
Ceanothus greggii var. franklinii, Desert Ceanothus (UT);
Ceanothus greggii var. greggii
, Desert Ceanothus (AZ, NM, TX);
Ceanothus greggii var. perplexans
, Desert Ceanothus (AZ, CA, NV);
Ceanothus greggii var. vestitus
, Mojave Ceanothus (AZ, CA, NV, UT).

Comments: Desert Ceanothus, has important value as browse for deer, elk, rabbits and livestock. Birds feed on the small seeds. The plants and flowers are important to bees and moths.

Ceanothus greggii is another species named in honor of Josiah Gregg, (1806-1850). The type for Ceanothus greggii var. vestitus is from Hackberry, Mohave County, Arizona (Goldman 2946).

In Southwest Desert Flora also see; Fendler's Ceanothus, Ceanothus fendleri and Ceanothus Deerbrush, Ceanothus integerrimus.

Ceanothus greggii has been used for fuel by North American indigenous peoples.
Yavapai Other, Fuel, Branches used for kindling.

See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 06/26/2016, updated format 10/02/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 06/26/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Kyle Christie, Michael Currie, Laura Smith Davis, Mar-Elise Hill, Suzanne Neal, and Tina Ayers; Vascular Plants of Arizona: Rhamnaceae; accessed on-line 22 June 2016]
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 06/26/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 06/26/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 06/26/2016),6589,6612
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 06/26/2016).