Skip to content

Plant Finder


Tree Lilac

Ceanothus arboreus

Add To My Wish List

Tree Lilac (Ceanothus arboreus) at Roger's Gardens

Tree Lilac

Tree Lilac

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Tree Lilac (Ceanothus arboreus) at Roger's Gardens

Tree Lilac foliage

Tree Lilac foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7b

Other Names:  Island Mountain Lilac, California Mountain Lilac


A fast growing large shrub with dark green glossy foliage with felt textured undersides; beautiful blue flower clusters add color in the spring; perfect for shrub borders or as a hedge or screen; very drought tolerant once established

Ornamental Features

Tree Lilac is bathed in stunning clusters of fragrant sky blue star-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from late winter to late spring. It has attractive dark green evergreen foliage which emerges chartreuse in spring. The glossy oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Tree Lilac is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Tree Lilac is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Tree Lilac will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features