Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’
(Small Leaf Mountain Lilac)
Considered a shrub Ceanothus, ‘Julia Phelps’ grows 5-7 feet tall x 7-9 feet wide. The dark green foliage is small and crinkled, making it more deer resistant than large-leaf varieties. In late winter and early spring ‘Julia Phelps’ puts on a glorious display of rich indigo blooms. She paints the hillsides purple and plays a part, alongside Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy), in that iconic California spring wildflower bloom.
The nectar of ‘Julia Phelps’ attracts Hummingbirds, Butterflies and Bees, and the seeds are eaten by California Quail, Finches, Bushtits, and Mockingbirds. The sheer size of the plant creates abundant shelter for ground-dwelling birds, making it an ideal plant for a wildlife garden. It does best when planted in full sun, in well-drained soil.
As with most California Native plants, ‘Julia Phelps’ doesn’t need soil amendments or fertilizer. Just plant in native soil, and water deeply at planting. It is drought tolerant along the coast but will require occasional irrigation (until established) in hot inland areas. It is cold hardy to 15-20°F and the Sunset Climate Zones are 5 - 9, 14 – 24.
We are currently selling Ceanothus ‘Julia Phelps’ in one gallon containers.