New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a compact, dense, rounded shrub that typically reaches 2-3′ (sometimes 4′) tall with a 5′ spread. It grows naturally in prairies, dry open woods, and thickets. The dried leaves of New Jersey Tea were used as a tea substitute during the American Revolutionary War, hence the common name. The tiny, fragrant, white flowers bloom in dense, rounded clusters of 1-2″, attracting butterflies and other native pollinators. It is the larval host to the Spring Azure Butterfly (shown above) among others. Once the blooms are spent, a variety of birds feed on the seeds. New Jersey Tea is useful as a shrub border or as a shrubby groundcover for difficult areas such as dry, rocky slopes and banks. Its deep roots make it a perfect choice for any area that needs erosion control.