ce·​a·​no·​thus ˌsē-ə-ˈnō-thəs How to pronounce ceanothus (audio)
: any of a genus (Ceanothus) of American vines, shrubs, and small trees of the buckthorn family having the calyx disk adherent to the ovary

Examples of ceanothus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s a California lilac — not the true syringa lilac of rhapsodic song and poetry but a ceanothus. Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 Aside from poppies, bush sunflowers, wooly blue curls, lupine, black sage, ceanothus and other plants are popping along trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Late summer brought a squadron of swallowtail butterflies that seemed to prefer feeding on the leathery leaves of ceanothus while nearby the busy skipper butterflies focused on clusters of wildflowers closer to the ground. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Nov. 2020 This sale features drought-tolerant Southwestern, California native and Australian plants — including ceanothus, tecoma, manzanita and westringia — as well as cactuses, succulents, tomato and vegetable seedlings, fruit trees and herbs. Jeanette Marantos, latimes.com, 22 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ceanothus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Greek keanōthos, a thistle

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ceanothus was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near ceanothus

Cite this Entry

“Ceanothus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceanothus. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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