• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


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Ceanothus or Coast Blue Blossom

(Ceanothus thyrsiflorus)
Ceanothus or Coast Blue Blossom
Ceanothus. Its also called a California Lilac.
Will Edler, NPS

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.

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Did You Know?

Detail from Spanish Coat of Arms

While stationed at the Presidio, the U.S. Army adopted the Coat of Arms of Royal Spain for heraldry purposes. The seal appeared on vehicles, signs, and badges throughout the post.