Habit: loosely branched, upright, medium sized shrub. Stems are greenish when young turning purplish to a deep red color with age, leaves are thin, dark green, and oval shaped, with serrated margins, paler below, and have the distinctive three veins of the ceanothus genus. The dense clusters of white to pink flowers are very fragrant and up to 4 inches (10cm) long, blooming from mid spring to mid summer. Fruit is a 3-lobed smooth capsule.
Ecology: found on dry hillsides and woodland edges, commonly after fires from the Sisikiyou Mountains in Northern California, north to British Columbia.
Growing Conditions: full sun, prefers coarse, well-drained moist soil that is low in nutrients.
Ceanothus sanguineus provides an excellent habitat for many birds and small mammals, and is a main food source for various wildlife including elk, deer, and birds. Because of its deep root system and ability to fix nitrogen it is a good plant to aid in erosion control and improve quality of soil.