Habit: evergreen, round or spreading shrub with gray fuzzy bark when young becoming smooth and gray-brown with age. Branches are thorny, rigid and growing at right angles to the main stem. Leaves are opposite, small and spoon shaped, sometimes slightly toothed at the tip, arranged in clusters they appear to be whorled. Fragrant, small flowers vary from white to occasionally light purple forming dense, round clusters. Fruit is a small 3 lobed round capsule with each lobe minutely horned, fire is required for germination. Blooms in early summer.
Ecology: found from Oregon south into Baja California, in dry locations such as bare mountain slopes, rocky ridges, chaparral woodlands and old streambeds from elevations of 300-4000 ft (90-1200 m).
Growing Conditions: Full sun, well-drained soil, very drought and cold tolerant.
Similar to the other ceanothus, buckbrush also has the ability to fix nitrogen. Good habitat for wildlife.