Ceanothus, California Lilac 'Dark Star'


Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ceanothus (see-an-OH-thus) (Info)
Cultivar: Dark Star



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Medium Blue


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Canoga Park, California

Crescent City, California

Crockett, California

Forest Falls, California

Los Angeles, California

Merced, California

NORTH FORK, California

Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Richmond, California

San Leandro, California

San Rafael, California

Walnut Creek, California

Winchester, California

Portland, Oregon

Bellevue, Washington

East Port Orchard, Washington

Parkwood, Washington

Port Orchard, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Vancouver, Washington(3 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 13, 2017, lsjogren from Vancouver, WA wrote:

Update Spring of 2017:

We had some extended cold/snowy/icy weather this winter in the Portland, OR area. Several weeks in the 10s-20s. I must have about 15-20 Dark Stars, none have shown any damage from the cold, they are growing fine. (A bunch of them are now bent down a bit from being covered by ~8" of snow for 1-2 weeks. But they're healthy and the bend should just wind up giving them an interesting kink in their trunks as they get older.

Addendum: The snow that got on them weighed the branches down enough that I lost two of these and some branches off others. One big problem is I have them on a slope and the trunks grew somewhat horizontal, so the weight of the snow put a lot of force on the trunks & larger stems. That was an unusual weather anomaly... read more


On Oct 26, 2015, botfeeder from Vancouver, WA wrote:

This ceanothus is the one I find the prettiest- vivid blue flowers and and I like the way it branches.

They say here zone 9 but I believe that is incorrect- nurseries show ceanothus as being good to zone 7 or 8. I am in zone 8 and it dipped to 9F a couple of winters back and my darkstar did not get damaged.

Ceanothus do seem to be very drought tolerant. I have a couple of the Victoria variety in a corner of a big asphalt area in front of a retaining wall, that spot gets incredibly dry in summer and I did not water those all summer, and they are still green.

I have planted a bunch of them and the ones in shadier spots haven't grown super fast but the ones that have grown best have grown a ton in a short time. A couple I planted this spring I p... read more


On Jul 28, 2010, suewylan from North Fork, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Wonderful deep blue flowers in spring. Grows on a dry clay bank. Needed little water to establish.


On May 3, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

Fast growing and stunning in bloom. So far has thrived everywhere I have planted it--does not seem fussy about soil. Does not need summer water. Attractive to bees. Give it room to grow if you dont want to be constantly pruning.


On Aug 22, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra,
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great low care shrub. I like the abundance of blue flowers. Prune after flowering to maintain a compact shape. Very drought tolerant. pokerboy.


On Apr 6, 2004, Melinda56 wrote:

I love my neighbor's Ceanothus bush so much that I've planted one of my own. We're in Seattle, and this bush does very well. As another gardener noted, bees just love it--but they're so engrossed in exploring the bush that they never bother people nearby.
My only concern is that I want to keep mine pruned to a nice round shape, rather than letting it grow into a tree, as I've seen around town.


On Jun 1, 2003, lauburt from Vancouver, WA wrote:

This is a wonderful shrub, but don't put it in front of a window unless you want to trim it 6-8 times a year! A very fast grower and extremely drought tolerant. Not picky about soil either.

Warning: Every bee in the neighborhood will be at your house when it blooms, so don't put it by the door!


On Mar 7, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I like the color and abundance of the flowers.