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Ceanothus americanus

Common Name(s):

  • Mountain Snowbell
  • New Jersey Tea
Phonetic Spelling
say-an-OH-thus ah-mer-ih-KAY-nus
Description

Ceanothus americanus, commonly called New Jersey tea, is a compact, dense, rounded shrub which typically grows 2-3' tall (less frequently to 4').  The bark is brown with shallow pits. 

Dried leaves of the New Jersey tea were used as a tea substitute, albeit without caffeine, in American Revolutionary War times, hence the common name.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Summer           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Summer

Wildlife Value:   The New Jersey tea is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  It is a host plant Mottled Duskywing butterfly.  Flowers are highly attractive to butterflies, bees and other insects.  Its seeds are eaten by songbirds. Members of the genus Ceanothus support the following specialized bees: Pseudopanurgus pauper and Pseudopanurgus virginicus.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  The New Jersey tea is susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildew.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#butterflies#deciduous#birds#pollinators#songbirds#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#showy#nectar plant#low maintenance#winter interest#specialized bees#insects#low flammability#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#butterflies#deciduous#birds#pollinators#songbirds#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#showy#nectar plant#low maintenance#winter interest#specialized bees#insects#low flammability#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ceanothus
    Species:
    americanus
    Family:
    Rhamnaceae
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
    Edibility:
    Leaves for tea
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees