Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’

Californian Lilac, Creeping Blue Blossom

Ceanothus ‘Skylark’ is a star performer in the garden! This dense, evergreen shrub is adorned with tiny glossy dark green leaves and covered in thimble-like clusters of intense blue flowers in early summer. It loves full sun and well-drained soil, so it’s perfect for your hot, sunny garden spot. After flowering, prune it to keep it compact.

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Origin: West coast of US
Genus: Ceanothus
Species / Cultivar: thyrsiflorus var. 'Skylark'
Common Name: Californian Lilac, Creeping Blue Blossom
Synonym: Ceanothus repens

Plant Biography

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’ is a dense evergreen shrub bearing tiny glossy dark green leaves and, in early summer is covered in thimble-like clusters of intense blue flowers. 

The Ceanothus thyrsiflorus is endemic to the West coast of the US, California and Oregon, however several cultivars have made their way into cultivation as it’s a popular plant due to its habit and attractiveness.

The genus’ name is derived from Ancient Greek and it means ‘spiny plant’, while the species epithet is indicative of its flowers: ‘thyrsos’ in Ancient Greece was a staff or a wand, decorated with ribbons and and vines and topped with a pine cone that was used during festivals and religious ceremonies.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark'
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Final Size: Small
Will stay small enough for a desk or shelf.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 1.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2.5 - 4.0m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Plant the Ceanothus in a full sun position and allow space for it to expand. It thrives in well drained soils, but it has no preference for a particular type.

A sheltered position is best for it, however the ‘Skylark’ variety is more tolerant to coastal gardens and a wider range of climates. The Californian Lilac does not mind salt-laden sea air.

Expert Tip

An ideal shrub for sunny spots, it can be used both as specimen or wall side borders, on slopes or as low hedges. Make sure you choose well the position, as it may become difficult to transplant once established.

1 customer review for Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’

Well obviously I havent seen it in flower as its the wrong time of year but it looks a nice healthy plant & bigger than I could find elsewhere for the same price. Very pleased with it.