Skip to Main Content Ray Howard Library Shoreline Community College

Tree Campus: Red Stem Ceanothus

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Red Stem Ceanothus

Ceanothus sanguineus (RHAMNACEAE)



S. Brit. Columbia to N. California, east to Montana



"Redstem ceanothus provides important food and cover for many wildlife species, most notably Rocky Mountain elk. Redstem ceanothus is browsed throughout much of the year but is generally of greatest importance to elk during the winter months when food is scarce. In an Idaho study, redstem ceanothus was estimated to constitute one-third of the winter diet of elk. Redstem ceanothus is probably less important as summer browse, when elk inhabit sites above the range of this plant.

Redstem ceanothus provides excellent cover for many birds and mammals. In northeastern Oregon, dense brushfields of redstem ceanothus and ninebark provide cover for mule deer. These shrubs provide particularly good thermal cover during cold, windy periods. Numerous small birds and mammals find cover in shrubfields formed by redstem ceanothus and other tall, seral shrubs. Brushy clearcuts provide good habitat for birds such as the rufous-sided towhee, western bluebird, Nashville warbler, and olive-sided flycatcher. Many small mammals, including deer mice, voles, and chipmunks, are favored by brushfields which develop after timber harvest and subsequent slash burning." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

Used by Native American tribes as a burn dressing and dermatological aid. It was collected on the Lewis and Clark expedition. [2]



"Redstem ceanothus develops a deep root system that can aid in soil stabilization. This species can be nursery propagated, and has been successfully planted on logged sites, roadcuts, and acid mine spoils." [1]



[1] Johnson, Kathleen A. 2000. Ceanothus sanguineus. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

[2] Heaton, D., & DerMarderosian, A. (2004). An Ethnobotanical and Medical Research Literature Update on the Plant Species Collected in the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. Bartonia, 63-93.

Privacy Statement
Search the Library Website