New Jersey Tea

New Jersey Tea

Ceanothus americanus

Plant Characteristics:

  • Duration: Perennial 
  • Habit: Shrub
  • Leaf retention: Deciduous 
  • Size class: 1-3ft
  • Native Habitat: Open, deciduous woods; woodland edges; oak savannas; mesic or dry prairies; roadsides 
  • Bloom time: March-April

Growing Conditions 

  • Light:
    • Sun, partial shade
  • Soil:
    • Moisture: dry, moist
    • Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
    • CaCO3 Tol: Medium
    • Drought tolerance: high
    • Cold tolerant: yes
    • Description: Well-drained, mesic sand, loam, or limey soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Limestone-based
  • Water use: 
    • Low-medium
  • Condition comments:
    • This extremely adaptable species can withstand inhospitable conditions because of massive, deep roots. It is quick to recover after fire.


  • Use as ornamental: Ground cover, Rocky hillside, Low growing, Planned landscape
  • Wildlife: Butterflies use flowers. Turkeys and quail consume seeds
  • Edible: The dried leaves of this nitrogen-fixing shrub make an excellent tea 
    • very popular during the Revolutionary War period
  • Conspicuous flowers 
  • Attracts butterflies and bees 
  • Nectar source
  • Specific value to native bees