The 'Ray Hartman' form of mountain lilac is an evergreen shrub to 15 ft.
or so.. The flowers are light to medium blue in 6" flower spikes. The
6" leaves are glossy and dark-green. It is very fast to 10' in 18
months. We planted some in Santa Margarita, California, and they were
just under the telephone wires (20') after 2 years. Ceanothus 'Ray
Hartman' is very drought tolerant. One was planted next to an old
PG&E sub-station (Santa Margarita, California) in the late 1960's,
and it's still doing fine in the year 2003. The substation is long gone,
and there has been no watering or maintenance for 30 years or more.
This one is ok in heavy soils or sand. Upright growth in most gardens,
and a somewhat weeping habit when it sees snow. This hybrid Ceanothus,
with parents Ceanothus arboreus and Ceanothus griseus, had no cold
damage at 15 degrees F, severe damage at 8 F, and death at 0F.
Deer love the new growth on this one, so do not plant in a high deer
area unless you fence for the first few years. 'Ray Hartman' has been
reliable in most situations including interior heat.
We have also seen beautiful specimens on the streets of San Francisco
in the Haight-Ashbury District. Narrow enough to make a superb screen
Root nodules grow on the Ceanothus Ray Harman. This is good!
Ray Hartman was the owner and manager of Leonard Coates Nurseries and
one of the founders of Saratoga Horticultural Foundation. Ray Hartman
Ceanothus was introduced in the 1950's after being found in Ray
Hartman's Saratoga garden in the 1940's. This has been a very stable
hybrid of Ceanothus.arboreus and C. griseus(with maybe something else). Click here for more about Mountain Lilacs.
The myth of Ceanothus being short lived is primarily spread by
incompetent gardeners that insist on applying drip irrigation, summer
water and soil amendments. Upland native plants hate all three. Expect a
25+ year life in most well tended (no overwatering, no soil
disturbance, no fertilizing, no drip, no application of soil amendments)
Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' tolerates clay.
Foliage of Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' has color green and is evergreen.
Flower of Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' has color blue and has a fragrance.
Communities for Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman':Chaparral and Coastal Sage Scrub.