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Products > Ceanothus Tuxedo ['FIT02'] PP20,754
Ceanothus Tuxedo ['FIT02'] PP20,754 - Tuxedo California Lilac

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Ceanothus Tuxedo ['FIT02'] PP20,754
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorns)
Origin: Garden Origin
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Lavender Blue
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [C. 'Plum Purple']
Parentage: (sport of Ceanthothus 'Autumnal Blue')
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Ceanothus 'Tuxedo' (Tuxedo California Lilac) - A open evergreen shrub to 6 to 8 feet tall and wide with an upright fan-shaped profile and dark, near black, glossy foliage. Lavender-blue flowers bloom in terminal clusters 1 inches wide by 3 inches long in late summer to fall, far later than any of our west coast native species.

Plant in full sun. Water occasionally to infrequently. Hardy to 0 F (USDA Zone 8). This plant responds well to pruning and it can be sheared or shaped to keep it smaller. Its dark coloration makes it a great choice to use with contrasting silver foliage plants.

Though this plant can have quite attractive foliage, we have seen that it gets a fair amount of powdery mildew, both in the garden and as a nursery crop here in our cool coastal climate, particularly when in full sun. Several people have noted that the plant does not have this problem when grown in part sun or light shade including one gardener in San Leandro (East SF Bay) who had 4 plants in the garden with 3 in full sun that had this problem and the one in part shade did not.

Ceanothus 'Tuxedo' originated as a branch sport discovered by Pat Fitzgerald in 2001 on Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue' within a crop of Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue' at Fitzgerald Nursery in Kilkenny Ireland. It was noticed as unique from the rest of the crop as it had distinctive deep plum-purple to black leaves. The parent plant, Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue', an older cultivar introduced in England in the 1920's, is a complex hybrid between the California native Ceanothus thyrsiflora and Ceanothus x delilianus, a plant long popular in Europe that itself is a hybrid between the eastern North American Ceanothus americanus and a Mexican species, Ceanothus caeruleus.

Ceanothus Tuxedo first made its debut to the US market in the spring of 2009 and is marketed by Tesselaar Plants. It received US Plant Patent 20,754 in February 2010. We loved the look of this plant until we noted the powdery mildew problem. We regretfully have concluded that Tuxedo is not best suited to our climate and we discontinued production of it in 2012. 

This information about Ceanothus Tuxedo ['FIT02'] PP20,754 displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.