Ceanothus velutinus
Common name: 
Cinnamon Bush
Tobacco Bush
Shiny-leaf Ceanothus
see-a-NO-thus ve-LU-ti-nus
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen shrub, often thicket forming, 2-10 ft (0.6-3 m) tall, occasionally taller, round-topped.  Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to elliptic, 4-7 cm long, margin finely serrate, glossy green, sticky above, pale green and velvety below with minute hairs at first but becoming smooth, 3 prominent veins from the base; emit  a sickingly sweet odor in warm weather when chrushed.   Flowers small, white, in dense 5-13 cm long clusters (panicles).  Fruit 3-lobed, glandular, capsules, 3-4 mm, subglobose to triangular.
  • Sun or partial shade.  Has a single large taproot and a deep, spreading root system so it is drought resistant.  Its root nodules are nitrogen fixing.  Not a long-lived plant, thickets begin to decline after 15 years.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone     Native from British Columbia Saskatchewan south through much of the western U.S., as far east as South Dakota.
  • Sometimes separated into two varieties:
    • C. v. var. hookeri - found on the west side of the Cascade Range from northern California to British Columbia.  Underside of leaf is glabrous.
    • C. v. var. velutinus - is more widespread, from British Columbia through California and Nevada east of the Cascades to South Dakota and Colorado.
  • velutinus: velvey
  • Oregon State Univ., Peavy Arboretum.
  • Silverton, Oregon: The Oregon Garden
Click image to enlarge
  • in habitat, flowering

    in habitat, flowering

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • leaf


  • flower clusters

    flower clusters

  • flower cluster and flowers

    flower cluster and flowers