Ceanothus or Coast Blue Blossom
Origin Of Genus Name: Ceanothus is Latin for "thistle."
Presidio Locations: Found in coastal bluff scrub.
Range In State: Throughout California. The Presidio is the type locality for this species.
Description: This native perennial is a widely branching shrub with round, pale green twigs and short, oval, somewhat leathery leaves. Pale blue to white flowers grow in oblong clusters 2-3 inches long. Blooms March to July.
Native Californian Uses: The Pomo used the fresh or dried flowers as a soap for washing hands, face and body; mixing the flowers with water to produce a fine lather when rubbed briskly on the skin. Flowers were also used in dance wreathes at their Strawberry Festival.