Rick’s Native Plant of the Month | New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)

June 28, 2023
Bridge Gardens

This 2-3-foot native shrub is easily grown in average or dry soils, performing best in sandy loams and rocky soils. Thick red roots make it drought-resistant, but also difficult to transplant in large sizes.

Compact and rounded, New Jersey tea has fragrant, white clusters of small flowers in June and dark green leaves, which are gray and hairy underneath. During the American Revolution, dried leaves were used as a substitute for black tea, hence the common name.

New Jersey tea is perfect for shrub borders and native plant gardens and is an effective shrubby groundcover on dry, rocky slopes. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

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