Backyard Prairie Flower ID of the week
Ceanothus Americanus L.
Common name: New Jersey Tea, Jersey Tea, Redroot, Ceanothus Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)
New Jersey Tea is a deciduous shrub with white bloom clusters and wide leaves. It grows in full to partial sun and grows to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Leaves can be gray in color. This is an excellent perennial for attracting butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Its root system is thick with fibrous root hairs close to the surface, but with stout, burlish, woody roots that reach deep into the earth. Its root system may grow very large in the wild, to compensate after repeated exposures to wildfires.
The dried leaves of this nitrogen-fixing shrub makes an excellent tea as its name was coined during the American Revolution because its leaves were used as a substitute for imported tea.