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Ceanothus americanus

New Jersey Tea

New Jersey tea is a dense shrub that is ideally suited for the edge of the woods or along the back of a border. It's habit is full and its leaves are bright green throughout the summer. Billowing clusters of tiny, fragrant white flowers appear on long stems in late spring and early summer. Ceanothus makes a lovely and fragrant cut flower! Young twigs are noticeably yellow and provide subtle winter interest. Also effective as a shrubby ground cover for hard-to-grow areas such as dry rocky slopes and banks.

Benefits

The leaves from this shrub make an excellent tea
Host plant for Spring Azure, Summer Azure, Mottled Duskywing butterflies
Turkeys, quail and other birds eat the seeds c
Sweet flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds
Dense, compact form make it small space friendly
Yellow twigs are showy in the winter landscape

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grow New Jersey Tea in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. It grows well in sandy loams or rocky soils with good drainage, but is equally at home in average garden soils. It is not tolerant of wet soils. The thick roots of Ceanothus go deep and help plants to withstand drought, but make established shrubs difficult to transplant.


Height
3-4 Feet

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Spread
3-5 Feet

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Native Range

Ceanothus americanus occurs in prairies, glades, dry open woods and thickets in most states east of the Rockies. USDA Distribution Map

Native Trivia

Dried leaves were used as a tea substitute during the Revolutionary War since tea was hard to find. Alas, New Jersey Tea has no caffeine.


"New Jersey Tea is a host plant for many butterflies and moths."

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Medium to Tall Shrubs
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Sun
Soil
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Songbirds
Bloom Time
Late Spring / Early Summer
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Songbird
Native Habitat
Forest
Grassland
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Border
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Fragrant
Hedge, screen
Mass plant
Naturalizes
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin