Prairie Red Root (Ceanothus herbaceus)
Prairie Red Root (Ceanothus herbaceus)

Prairie Red Root (Ceanothus herbaceus)

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Ceanothus herbaceus
Prairie red root is very similar to New Jersey Tea.  It's leaves are narrower, it blooms a little earlier, and it can be found in drier, more alkaline conditions than NJ Tea.  Both are members of the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae).
The woody roots enrich the soil with nitrogen and can be used to make a red dye.  The seeds "explode" (the capsules eject the seeds a few feet as a dispersal method) and germinate best if you pour near-boiling water over them and let them soak in the water overnight.  Follow this hot water soak with 1 to 3 months of cold stratification (mix seeds with dampened sand or potting soil and refrigerate).

Uses: hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, edible, medicinal, drought resistant

Bloom time:  April - May

Height:  3 to 4 feet

Space:  2 to 3 feet

Sun:  Full sun to light shade

Moisture:  Dry to average

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