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Snowbrush (Mountain Balm)
Snowbrush (Mountain Balm)

Snowbrush (Mountain Balm)

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Ceanothus velutinus var. laevigatus

  • Size at maturity: 2-10' tall, 8' wide
  • Canopy layer: large shrub
  • Light requirements: full sun
  • Moisture requirements: dry to moist soil
  • Growth rate: medium
  • Special features: evergreen, wildlife favorite, medicinal

Mountain Balm is an evergreen ceanothus, with green bark and a spreading form. Its leaves are very sticky and shiny on top, and soft underneath. The fragrant plumes of tiny white flowers appear from June to August, and are arranged along the sides of the branches. Mountain Balm is also called ‘Snowbrush’, and is able to colonize in burned areas because its seeds are fire-resistant and can remain dormant for many years. (Portland Plant List, 2016)

Photo credit 1: "Ceanothus velutinus - snowbrush ceanothus" by Matt Lavin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo credit 2: "2011.07.16_13.07.42_IMG_4088" by andrey_zharkikh is licensed under CC BY 2.0