Ceanothus impressus ‘Vandenburg’ is a variety of the California Lilac (or Santa Barbara Ceanothus) that was discovered at the Vandenberg Air Force Base – as some describe it. Other sources say it is a cultivar which implies it was intentionally cultivated. At any rate it is more dense and compact than the typical Ceanothus. We’ve had it in the ground in a sunny location for about ten years now and it has done very well. We water it little to none and throw a little mulch around the base once a year. We trim every year to keep it open enabling light to come through to ground covering beneath. We like to keep the Ceanothus at or about head-chest level so when you walk by you can enjoy it.
Ceanothus impressus ‘Vandenburg’ starts blooming around June 1st for us and the bees love it. For humans, the shrub is beautiful to look it and has a smell that we would describe as a mix of honey and fresh green pasture, a subtle scent.
The etymology of the word Ceanothus (pronounced: see-an-OH-thus) comes from the Greek keanothus, a name used for a spiny plant. The word impressus (pronounced: im-PRESS-us) refers to the pattern of leaf veins that looks as if they were impressed on to the leaf.