Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Ceanothus velutinus
mountain balm, greasewood, sticky-laurel, tobacco-brush

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Alberta, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Habitat: Moist to dry open forests, low to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, flies, beetles


Evergreen, heavy-scented shrub, the stems spreading, 0.5-2 m. tall, the young twigs mostly glabrous.


Leaves alternate, the blades ovate-elliptic to ovate, thick, 5-10 cm. long, glabrous, glutinous-varnished and shining, often bronze-tinged on the upper surface, grayish beneath, strongly 3-veined from the base; stipules 1 mm. long; petioles 1-2 cm. long.


Inflorescence of large, axillary, compound panicles; calyx 5-lobed; petals 5, long-clawed, hooded, creamy-white; stamens 5, opposite the petals, separated from the pistil by a flat, lobed disk, which also embeds the ovary; style 1, stigmas 3.


Capsules 4-5 mm. long, deeply 3-lobed, crested slightly above the middle.

Accepted Name:
Ceanothus velutinus Douglas
Publication: Fl. Bor.-Amer. (Hooker) 1(3): 125 (t. 45). 1831.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Ceanothus velutinus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Ceanothus velutinus checklist entry

OregonFlora: Ceanothus velutinus information

E-Flora BC: Ceanothus velutinus atlas page

CalPhotos: Ceanothus velutinus photos

55 photographs:
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