Ode to Ceanothus
Ceanothus x impressus “Dark Star” [more info]
Also known as California Lilac, Ceanothus blooms like crazy in the California spring. They grow like weeds all over the place, and there are even ceanothus forests in the mountains behind Big Sur. One place they can be spotted regularly is on the side of the freeways, blooming happily despite an excess of neglect and lack of irrigation. In fact, a high percentage of freeway accidents in the spring in California are caused by this plant. When people see the amazing inflorescence of electric blue blooms covering every square centimeter of this Cali native, they are so fixated that they become a hazard to themselves and others. People who have never before noticed such things as plants blooming on the side of the road suddenly must take notice. What IS that, they ask. Just remember, trying to take pictures while you’re driving is not advised, so make sure to bring the car to a complete stop before snapping photos.
Even people that think they know what to expect are sometimes surprised.