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Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens

Creeping blue blossom

Creeping blueblossom is somewhat similar to Carmel creeper (Ceanothus griseus var. horizontalis).  However, its smaller, glossy, dark green leaves give it a more refined appearance.  It also tends to have a denser, lower-growing growth habit.  Light blue oval clusters of flowers cover the plant in spring and provide nectar for butterflies and bees. 

Creeping blueblossom is a handsome plant with its small, dark green glossy leaves that look good year round.  It typically mounds to about 2' tall and can eventually grow to 15' wide.  It's a fairly slow-grower and can easily be kept smaller with annual pruning.

In March/April, creeping blueblossom produces masses of pale blue, oval-shaped clusters of flowers that provide loads of nectar for butterflies and bees.  The seeds that follow some months later are a good food source for seed-eating birds.

Plant in full sun or light shade on the coast.  In hotter interior areas, protect it from the heat of the afternoon sun by planting it in light shade or in morning sun.  Creeping blueblossom's tolerant of most soils, but prefers good drainage.

Once established, creeping blueblossom will survive the summer with no supplemental water, but is tolerant of irrigation.  In hotter areas, an occasional deep watering in summer is beneficial.


Family: Rhamnaceae

Native to California where it's found on coastal bluffs in Mendocino, Marin and Monterey Counties.

Creeping blue blossom Growing and Maintenance Tips

Little maintenance is needed.  If necessary, prune lightly to maintain a neat compact shape or to control the size.


1-2 Feet


4-15 Feet


4-10 Feet

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens Characteristics


  • Wind resistant
  • California native
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Evergreen

Flower color

  • Blue / Purple / Lavender / Violet

Growth habit (plant shape)

  • Mounding


  • Sunny all day - Coast
  • Light or dappled shade
  • Morning sun

Season of interest (flowering)

  • Spring

Season of interest (foliage)

  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

Wildlife appeal

  • Attracts bees
  • Attracts beneficial insects
  • Attracts butterflies

Suggested uses

  • Firescaping
  • Groundcover
  • Under CA native oaks

Plants that work well with Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens

Yarrow, Island Pink Yarrow, Island Pink (Achillea millefolium 'Island Pink')
California sagebrush California sagebrush (Artemisia californica)
Carmel Sur manzanita Carmel Sur manzanita (Arctostaphylos edmundsii 'Carmel Sur')
Serpentine blue California fescue Serpentine blue California fescue (Festuca californica 'Serpentine Blue')
Tomales Bay Idaho fescue Tomales Bay Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis 'Tomales Bay')
David's Choice sagewort David's Choice sagewort (Artemisia pycnocephala 'David's Choice')
Island alum root Island alum root (Heuchera maxima)
Gumplant Gumplant (Grindelia stricta var. angustifolia)
Silver bush lupine Silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons)
California coffeeberry California coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica)
WR seaside daisy WR seaside daisy (Erigeron 'WR')
Winnifred Gilman's sage Winnifred Gilman's sage (Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman')