Ceanothus americanus

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Common Names: New Jersey Tea [1]; Red Root, Indian Tea [2]

Ceanothus americanus
Ceanothus americanus AFP.jpg
Photo by the Atlas of Florida Plants Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Rhamnales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ceanothus
Species: C. americanus
Binomial name
Ceanothus americanus
Natural range of Ceanothus americanus from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Ceanothus intermedius (Pursh)

Varieties: Ceanothus americanus Linnaeus var. intermedius (Pursh) Torrey & A. Gray


C. americanus is a perennial shrub/subshrub of the Rhamnaceae family native to North America. [1]


While it is more commonly found along the coastal plains of the eastern United States and Canada, C. americanus can be found inland as far west as Louisiana. [3]



The C. americanus is largely found in in sandy soil within woodlands and prairies. [1]

Specimens have been collected from sand in open savanna, dry sand in loam in pine-oak forests, and in open pine land. [4]


C. americanus has been observed flowering between April and July, with peak inflorescence in May. [5]

Seed bank and germination

Seedling C. americanus are more likely to thrive when planted in late fall or early winter. [1]

Fire ecology

C. americanus has a high tolerance to drought and fire is a management technique for the spread of the species. [1]


Bees may collect pollen from the plant and other insects such as butterflies and moths may just collect nectar. [1]

Use by animals

Many animals such as rabbit, elk and deer eat the grass from C. americanus while others will eat the fruit, turkey and quail for instance. [1]

Diseases and parasites

This species can acquire leaf spot and powdery mildew. [1]

Conservation and Management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 USDA Plant Database
  2. [Thirty-Third Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, to the secretary of the Smithsonian institution, 1911-1912]
  3. Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  4. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Andre F. Clewell, Ro.K. Godfrey, R. Komarek, Loran C. Anderson, Bill Boothe, Marcia Boothe, Annie Schmidt. States and counties: Florida (Leon, Liberty, Wakulla, Washington) Georgia (Thomas, Grady)
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 18 MAY 2018