PLANT: Shrubs, armed, to 2 m tall. STEMS: low, spreading to erect, pubescent, greenbrown to gray; thorns 1-5 cm long, sometimes absent in young plants. LEAVES: evergreen, alternate; petioles 2-4 mm long; blades oblanceoate to oblong, palmately veined, 0.8-3 cm long, 0.4 -1.9 cm wide, palmately 3-veined, with margins entire, dark green above, light green to whitish below, pubescent to glabrous. INFLORESCENCE: terminal or axillary, 3-10 flowers per cluster. FLOWERS: white to light green. FRUITS: 3-5 mm wide. NOTES: Open coniferous forest: Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Santa Cruz, Yavapai cos.; 1600-2800 m (5300-9200 ft); Apr-Sep; SD s to WY, UT, CO, NM and TX ; Chih., Mex. Plants with broadly elliptic to obovate, pubescent leaf blades from s AZ have been recognized as C. fendleri var. venosus Trelease. REFERENCES: Kyle Christie, Michael Currie, Laura Smith Davis, Mar-Elise Hill, Suzanne Neal, and Tina Ayers, 2006 Vascular Plants of Arizona: Rhamnaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 23-46.
Christie et al. 2006
Common Name: Fendler's ceanothus Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Armed shrubs to 2 m tall, low, often thicket forming with reddish-brown bark when mature; stems low, spreading to erect, pubescent, green-brown to gray, thorns 1-5 cm long, sometimes absent in young plants. Leaves: Evergreen, alternate, on petioles 2-4 mm long, blades oblanceolate to oblong, palmately veined, 0.8-3 cm long, 0.4-1.9 cm wide, palmately 3-veined, entire margins, dark green above, light green to whitish below, pubescent to glabrous. Flowers: Cymose panicles terminal or axillary, 3-10 flowers per cluster; flowers white to light green, with 5 hooded, long clawed petals, 1.5-1.8 mm long, bearing 5 stamens. Fruits: Reddish brown capsules, 3-5 mm wide Ecology: Found on open ground, often among other trees from 5,000-10,000 ft (1524-3048 m); flowers April-September. Notes: To get to Ceanothus, pay attention to the way the veins branch off from the midvein and parallel the margins, distinguished from C. greggii by virtue of the opposite leaves in the latter. Ethnobotany: Important medicinal root for cleansing lymphs and blood. Berries eaten once sweetened with sugar, inner bark also edible. Used for tonsil inflammation, sore throats and enlarged lymph nodes. Also used for sore mouth, as a ceremonial emetic, and as kindling. Etymology: Ceanothus is from the Greek keanothus, which is a name for a spiny plant, while fendleri is named for Augustus Fendler (1813-1883) a German plant collector who worked for Asa Gray and George Engelmann. Synonyms: Ceanothus fendleria var. venosus, C. fendleri var. viidis, C. subsericeus Editor: SBuckley, 2010