Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ceanothus divaricatus Nutt.

Frost hardy, evergreen shrub with smooth, pale bark, wide spreading, rigid branches, and clusters of pale blue or white flowers in spring or early summer.  To 4m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Under this name we are able to announce the introduction of another beautiful hardy shrub.  It is described as a straggling bush, in California becoming spiny, and loaded with clusters of blue flowers. […] The plant has been raised by the Horticultural Society, from seeds presented by R. B. Hinds, Esq., late Surgeon of H. M.’s ship the Sulphur, by whom it was found in California in great abundance, and forming a most conspicuous object.’  [BR misc.55/1843].  This plant may be Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Eschsch.  See BR f.36/1844.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.288/1850].  Obtained from Veitch’s Nursery, brought out from England by Captain P. P. King in 1849.  [ML A1980-3].  Believed by Macarthur to be a new introduction to the colony although it was reportedly grown at the Sydney Botanic Garden as early as 1828.  This seems unlikely as the first description did not appear in the literature until 1838. 


Ceanothus divaricatus Bol. (1863) = Ceanothus cordulatus Kellogg.

Published Mar 04, 2009 - 04:47 PM | Last updated Feb 28, 2010 - 12:18 PM

Family Rhamnaceae
Region of origin


  • Ceanothus leucodermis Greene
Common Name

Chapparal whitethorn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ceanothus divaricatus

Confidence level high