Ceanothus × delileanus 'Gloire de Versailles'
Common Name: California lilac 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rhamnaceae
Zone: 6 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Powder blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit


Best grown in average, 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. Thick, woody roots go deep and help plant withstand droughty conditions, but make established shrubs difficult to transplant. Site in locations protected from strong winds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ceanothus is a genus containing about 50 species of mostly evergreen, ornamental flowering shrubs of the buckthorn family. Most are native to California (hence the common name of California lilac) with a few from the eastern U. S., Mexico and Guatemala. Size ranges from low-spreading groundcover plants to tall shrubs (10’). Plants have evergreen or deciduous foliage. Lilac-like cylindrical flower clusters bloom in late spring and summer. Most genus plants thrive in the climate of California and the Pacific Northwest, but grow very poorly in the heat and humidity found in the southeastern U.S. An exception to this general rule is found in the French hybrids.

The × dilileanus hybrids, called the French hybrids, are a series of blue-flowered hybrids developed by crossing C. americanus (native to eastern U.S.) and C. coeruleus (native to Mexico). These hybrids are deciduous shrubs which typically grow in a rounded form to 3-5’ tall and as wide. Broad-oval finely-toothed light green leaves (to 3” long). Scented powder blue flowers bloom in panicles (to 4-5” long) over a long June–September bloom period.

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

The hybrid name delileanus honors Alire Delile (1778-1850), French botanist and physician.

‘Gloire de Versailles’ is a French hybrid. It is a deciduous cultivar. Powder blue flowers bloom summer to autumn (June–September).


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildew.


Shrub borders or native plant gardens. Hedge. South-facing walls.