Ceanothus × pallidus 'Minmari' MARIE BLEU

Common Name: California lilac 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rhamnaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Lilac
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Best grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates and sometimes appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Best in sandy loams or rocky soils with good drainage. Prefers even rainfall, but tolerates hot, dry sites. Thick, woody roots grow deeply and help plants withstand drought conditions, but make established shrubs difficult to transplant. Site in locations protected from strong winds. Plants may experience dieback when winter temperatures dip to 0°F. Responds well to pruning in spring to control height and width.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ceanothus × pallidus is a hybrid ceanothus resulting from a cross between C. herbaceus and C. × delilianus (C. americanus and C. coeruleus). It is a deciduous to semi-deciduous shrub which typically grows to 2-4’ tall and to 3’ wide. The broadly oval, glossy, dark green leaves will reach 3" long. Terminal, conical clusters of soft pink flowers bloom on new growth in early summer.

Genus name comes from keanothos which is an ancient Greek name relating to some plants in the buckthorn family.

The specific epithet pallidus comes from Latin meaning "pale".

‘Minmari’ is commonly sold under the trade name of MARIE BLEU. It is a compact blue-flowered cultivar that typically grows as a low mounded shrub to 2-3’ tall. Misty blue flowers bloom in late May. Flowers are followed by ornamentally attractive red seed heads. U.S. Plant Patent Applied For (PPAF).


Susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildew. Root rot is a potential problem in poorly drained soils.


Shrub borders. Foundations. Hedge. South-facing walls.