California Lilac ‘Skylark’ (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’)

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Skylark Blue Mountain Lilac closeup

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Skylark Blue Mountain Lilac closeup

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’ (California Lilac ‘Skylark’). Zones 7-10, Sunset 5-9, 14-24. Evergreen California native shrub with upright to outward growing branches 4-6 ft x 8 ft wide with bright blue flowers, and deep green foliage. This cultivar is latest to bloom – panicles of flower (2-3 in) and purplish buds cover this shrub in May. Leaves - 0.7 –1.2 in long ¾ in wide curl a little bit during coldest and driest months as well. Sun to part sun. Adapted to wide variety of soil types, needs good drainage (or some grade on your site), clay and garden tolerant. Tolerates drought once established, looks best with some summer water. Can be trimmed to desired size but looks nice and formal in ‘AS-IS’ natural shape.

‘Skylark’ flowers in late spring – May to June when most of California Lilacs are done and forgotten, brings beautiful blue hue back, flowering period extended with some afternoon shade. Uses – for lawn conversion, xeriscape, and ocean sites –as it tolerates salt spray, great focal point in your spring garden, nice medium to tall ornamental shrub for sunny border.

Plant profile summary:

Name Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’ (California Lilac ‘Skylark’)
Zone/ Sunset Zone Zones 7-10, Sunset 5-9, 14-24
Type: Shrub
Size/shape: 4-6 ft x 8 ft wide reaches its size in 2-3 growing seasons, mounding with branches facing upright to outward
Life Span:  Short leaved in most gardens, but can go for up to 15-20 years if conditions are right
Foliage/ Flower/ Fruits Type/ Color Evergreen oblong 0.7- 1.2 in dark green leaves. Deep blue flowers May – June develop on the tip of the branches – avoid pruning before flowering, fruits dark hard berries loved by birds, not messy. Flowers have sweet honey fragrance and attract native bees and butterflies; can be used for tea.
Sun/ wind Exposure: Full sun to part shade, loves ocean breeze.
Water requirements: Drought tolerant once established but looks better with some summer water or afternoon shade in hot inland Bay Are, mulch heavily to preserve the moisture and minimize watering
Soil requirements: Wide range of soil: alkaline to neutral/slightly acidic. Needs good drainage, but will tolerate clay fairly well.
Use: For lawn conversion, xeriscape, and ocean sites –as it tolerates salt spray, great focal point in your spring garden, nice medium to tall ornamental shrub for sunny border.
Attractions – special features: Evergreen, drought tolerant, late and long flowering season compare to other California Lilacs
Pests / Diseases: N/A, may develop root-rot with excessive watering or bad drainage.
Trimming Prune after flowering if needed
Caution: