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Mystery White Blossoms
updated: Feb 07, 2013, 3:01 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

While hiking up San Ysidro this morning I noticed the hills were covered with trees with white blossoms. Does anyone know what they are? I'm sure they're common but this is the first year I've noticed them. They are quite beautiful!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:10 PM

I was there yesterday too...ceanothus, the purple ones will bloom next. :-)

 

 COMMENT 371974 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:28 PM

Could be Arctostaphylos, Manzanitas are in bloom now? Little white bell flowers. They seem to be having a pretty exceptional bloom this year.

 

 COMMENT 371976 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:32 PM

Sorry to tag on to your post OP, but a bunch of trees lining the streets (Bath, between Carillo & Mission, specifically) are blooming in white now, too. Gorgeous. Anyone know what these are?

I love the ceanothus, so pretty. Good to know the purple will be blooming soon!

 

 COMMENT 371990P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 03:57 PM

Ceanothus. Blossoms from deep blue to white. The street trees are ornamental plum or pear.

 

 COMMENT 371992P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 04:02 PM

Bigpod Ceanothus - Ceanothus megacarpus.

 

 COMMENT 371993 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 04:02 PM

975 Pitisporium (sp?)

 

 COMMENT 371999 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 04:18 PM

993: I have a pittosporum in my yard, and these look much smaller & I haven't noticed a scent (can't see the leaves to compare, but generally speaking the shape just looks different). I'm thinking the ornamental plum/pear sounds right. I love the smell of the pittosporums, but god, the seeds are awful.

Thanks guys!

 

 COMMENT 372007 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 04:47 PM

The trees on Bath are Evergreen Pears. Blooming white flowers for two weeks out of the year, and then ten months of constant cleanup from the nonstop falling leaves.

 

 COMMENT 372010 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 04:55 PM

Evergreen Pear is one of the worst street trees ever, yet probably the most common. Epic fail by the failure prone street tree program.

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 05:00 PM

http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/ceacun/all.html

This is the chaparral ceanothus.

 

 COMMENT 372018 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 05:22 PM

Really...you can't just appreciate the beauty of the flowering trees without saying something negative about the evergreen pear or the street tree program?!

 

 COMMENT 372019P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 05:26 PM

Ceanothus cuneatus - Chaparral Ceanothus blooms a little later (not too much), and further in the backcountry.

One way to tell, is if the leaves are opposite or not. In the diagram at that link - the opposite twigs can be clearly seen for Chaparral Ceanothus.

Bigpod Ceanothus has alternate leaves, and grows mostly along the south-facing slopes of the Santa Ynez mountains.

 

 COMMENT 372023 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 05:52 PM

Thank you Edhat Community!!! I knew I could count on you!!

 

 COMMENT 372050 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 07:37 PM

Whoa, leaves can be opposite or alternate within a genus??? Astounded, checked the Jepson manual key and there it was clear as day, only two of the fifty some species of ceanothus with different leaf configuratiOns and C.'megacarpus is one Of em!

C. megacarpus Seems unusually floriferous this year. Hwy 150 to Ojai is spectacular.

 

 COMMENT 372061 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 08:20 PM

018, plant one of these trees in your yard and get back to me in ten years.

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-07 09:15 PM

Why didn't I know someone in edhatland would know the exact genus of ceanothus?....well of course I did! Ask and you shall read the answer...such a well informed community!

 

 COMMENT 372086P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 03:46 AM

Well. I like the Pyrus kawakamii (Evergreen Pear). All the trees are "outed" now, by their white flowers. I saw plenty of them in Goleta today, and they are gorgeous. Bet the bees love them, too.

 

 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 06:48 AM

Ornamental pears are blooming in town,but don't know about the hillsides.

 

 TROLLEY TOM agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 06:56 AM

Someone recently referred to the ornamental pears as SANTA BARBARA SNOW. That should give you a smile this morning.

 

 COMMENT 372109 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 07:16 AM

It's the ceanothus blooming all over the hills comes to mind when one says Santa Barbara snow.

 

 COMMENT 372125 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 07:34 AM

Not about fail or not fail, just about tree's lol

I had a house that had both an evergreen pear and a liquid amber in the front yard..... much rather have the pears than the liquid amber, talk about clean up and go barefoot at your own risk...

 

 COMMENT 372130 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 07:48 AM

The native sage brush will also bloom on the mountains and can be seen from everywhere.

 

 COMMENT 372146P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 08:09 AM

California sagebrush, Artemisia californica, flowers from April through October, has small inconspicuous flowers.

Ceanothus (Ceanothus verrucosus, wart-stemmed ceanothus) is also flowering in large quantities in the San Diego area.

 

 COMMENT 372158 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 08:27 AM

Thank you for the proper names, but how about lay names. I'm sure not all are pear trees. Thank you.

 

 PATRICK agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 08:42 AM

We went up Romero Canyon after work on Monday and the whole canyon was filled with a funky smell. We were surprised to determine that it was the white ceanothus' aroma that was filling the canyon -- kind of smelled like lousy perfume. I normally associate flower aromas with pleasant smells, but this 'smell' certainly wasn't.

 

 RLOUGHEED9 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 09:02 AM

Ceanothus megacarpus (Bigpod ceanothus). They are spectacular this year.

 

 COMMENT 372176 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 09:10 AM

Buck thorn (white) is working up the mountains, by elevation/temperature. Cyeanothus (blue) is just barely beginning to open its blooms at 1500 feet. Manzanita (white & pink) is nearly finished except in protected spots

 

 COMMENT 372208P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 10:11 AM

Was in Paris a few years ago at the Rodin gardens and was amazed to see a ceanothus there as an exotic. They are great for our climate and apparently work in France as well.

 

 COMMENT 372225 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 10:32 AM

Maybe you just have a lousy sense of smell Pat?

 

 COMMENT 372299 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 12:23 PM

In New England, we just included everything that bloomed in white or pink in the spring under one tag: "Dogwood".

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 05:27 PM

In Carp. the mountains look like they have a light dusting of snow; glad to know what it is.

 

 PATRICK agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-08 06:41 PM

Re 225: it wasn't just me -- my wife and people we met on the trail said the same thing. Might have been due to cool air in the canyon concentrating the smell?

 

 COMMENT 372526 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-09 08:32 AM

Ceanothus is also known as soap brush. Break off some flowers, get your hands wet, and rub the flowers between them. Makes suds with that clean smell they have.

 

 COMMENT 373040 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 05:12 AM

sinus inflamous

 

 COMMENT 373380P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 04:37 PM

Can attest that the evergreen pear trees downtown smell like dead rotting roadkill. I learned this first hand yesterday, when one of my friends dared me to smell it, and I did. Yuck!

 

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