Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Ceanothus velutinus (Snowbrush, Red Root, Tobacco Brush)



 Plantae – Plants


 Tracheobionta – Vascular plants


 Spermatophyta – Seed plants


 Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants


 Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons






 Rhamnaceae – Buckthorn family


 Ceanothus L. – ceanothus


 Ceanothus velutinus Douglas ex Hook. – snowbrush ceanothus

Photo, left, credit:  Albert F. W. Vick 

This evergreen shrub will greet you with an intoxicating, spicy fragrance when you brush against it or on hot summer days.

It reaches heights of 2-8,’ with dark green, sticky leaves and small white flowers in tidy 5” ‘pom poms.’

Found widely in the West, from British Columbia down through the western United States in USDA zones 7-10.

Snowbrush is a pioneer following fire as the fire stimulates seed germination: another example of nature’s supreme sagacity, as the Snowbrush “fixes” nitrogen and nitrogen is much in demand after the devastation of fire!

For a short comparison of northwest native ceanothus, click here.


Photo, left, credit:  Shari Hagwood, BLM; Photo, right, credit:  Walter Siegmund


Photo, left, credit:  Crow; Photo, right, credit:  Matt_Lavin


Photo, left, credit:  Walter Siegmund; Photo, center, credit: Terry Glase; Photo, right, credit:  Albert F. W. Vick

Photo, center, credit: Walter Siegmund

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