Snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus) is a low-growing, attractive evergreen shrub. The broad leaves are very slightly sticky on top, soft below, and have a spicy, aromatic fragrance on hot days (this bush is also called tobacco brush, for its scent). Clusters of fragrant white flowers appear in June to August.
Many butterflies lay their eggs on snowbrush, including pale swallowtail, spring azure, Lorquin’s admiral, California tortiseshell. Birds and small mammals eat the seeds, and in the wild it’s an important winter food source for deer and elk.
This hardy shrub thrives in moist to dry, sunny spots, and tolerates drought and poor soils well. It makes a good screen or low windbreak, as well as a backdrop for other showy natives like golden currant, snowberry, and red-stem ceanothus.
Light Requirements: Sun to Part Shade
Water Requirements: Moist to dry
Ease of Growing: Easy
Growth Rate: Fast
Wildlife Support: Birds, Mammals, Pollinators, Beneficial Insects
Mature Height: 2-10 feet tall
Mature Width: 6-10 feet wide