Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: low
Soil Moisture: dry, moist
Soil Description: rich, average, loam, sand, gravel/rock
Bloom Time: April, May, June
Bloom Color: white
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, attracts butterflies, berries, cottage garden plant, drought tolerant, edible, fragrant flowers, medicinal, mounding, rock garden plant
Pricing & Availability
Ceanothus americanusAlso known as:
New Jersey tea,
Ceanothus americanus is a compact, low-growing, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that usually does not exceed a height of 3'. The green leaves are alternate and oblong. Their underside, as well as the stems are covered with fine white hairs, giving the plant an overall gray-green appearance. Dense flower clusters appear from the leaf axils of the upper stems. These clusters resemble white puffballs, and are made-up of tiny, elongated tubular fragrant flowers. These give way to small, unremarkable, berry-like drupes.
Ceanothus americanus is adapted to average soils, so long as they are very well-drained. It produces a deep taproot, making it drought resistant and also difficult to transplant. It will tolerate open-shade and filtered light, but flower production will be at its best in full sun. It is very low maintenance and easy to grow. Bloom time will last a month, from April to June, depending on geographic location. Zones 4-8
Easily propagated from seed. These will benefit from an overnight soak before sowing. It can also be propagated by softwood cuttings in spring, or by root cuttings taken in fall.
This a commercially underutilized, highly ornamental and adaptable shrub. The common name "New Jersey tea" is a reference to its leaves that were used as far back as the colonist and revolutionary days, as a substitute for tea. The common name "redroot" is a reference to the color of its taproot. This plant has long been used in traditional medicine, and the roots have recently been found to have strong blood-clotting properties.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Threatened: ME
|Species||Ceanothus americanus||New Jersey tea|