Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Ceanothus americanus


SPECIES: Ceanothus americanus
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1993. Ceanothus americanus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : CEAAME SYNONYMS : Ceanothus ovatus Desf. SCS PLANT CODE : CEAM CEOV COMMON NAMES : New Jersey tea redroot TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for New Jersey tea is Ceanothus americanus L. [13]. Recognized varieties based on geographic and morphological differences are as follows [4,35]: C. a. var. americanus C. a. var. pitcheri T. & G. C. a. var. intermedius (Pursh) K. Koch. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : New Jersey tea is listed as endangered by the state of Illinois [4].


SPECIES: Ceanothus americanus
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : New Jersey tea has a wide distribution and ranges from Quebec to Florida; west to Texas; and north to Minnesota [23,27,29]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES10 White - red - jack pine FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES18 Maple - beech - birch FRES19 Aspen - birch FRES39 Prairie STATES : AL AR CT DE FL GA IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MA MI MN MS MO NE NH NJ NY NC OH OK PA RI SC TN TX VT VA WV WI MB ON PQ BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K074 Bluestem prairie K075 Nebraska Sandhills prairie K081 Oak savanna K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100 K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest K095 Great Lakes pine forest K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest K100 Oak - hickory forest K103 Mixed mesophytic forest K104 Appalachian oak forest K106 Northern hardwoods K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest K109 Transition between K104 and K106 K110 Northeastern oak - pine forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest SAF COVER TYPES : 1 Jack pine 5 Balsam fir 12 Black spruce 14 Northern pin oak 15 Red pine 17 Pin cherry 20 White pine - northern red oak - red maple 40 Post oak - blackjack oak 42 Bur oak 43 Bear oak 44 Chestnut oak 50 Black locust 52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak 55 Northern red oak 59 Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak 72 Southern scrub oak 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 83 Longleaf pine - slash pine 108 Red maple 110 Black oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : New Jersey tea is a major understory dominant in the jack pine/scrub oak (Pinus banksiana/Quercus spp.) forests in northern Wisconsin [19]. It is also dominant in mesic areas of mixed-grass prairies of the Midwest [18]. Understory associates of New Jesey tea include wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), low sweet blueberry (Vacciniuim angustifolium), Canada blueberry (V. canadense), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), Virginia strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum), northern bedstraw (Galium boreale), raspberry (Rubus spp.), and rose (Rosa spp.) [19,24,26].


SPECIES: Ceanothus americanus
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : New Jersey tea is browsed by white-tailed deer throughout the growing season. It is preferred browse in the spring and fall in central Pennsylvania (5.0 to 21.8 percent relative utilization) [3]. Deer in the Missouri Ozarks browse the twigs extensively in winter [6]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Many species of the genus Ceanothus, including New Jersey tea, are well suited for use in rehabilitation because of rapid growth rates and an ability to improve soil fertility through nitrogen fixation [11]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : The root of New Jersey tea is astringent. An alkaloid from the root has been used for increasing blood coagulability, especially for the prevention of hemorrhage from surgery [35]. The leaves were used as a substitute for imported tea during the American Revolution [4,35]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Ceanothus americanus
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : New Jersey tea is a small- to medium-size shrub from 1.5 to 3.5 feet (0.5-1.0 m) tall with numerous, slender, ascending branches. It has shallow, fibrous root hairs near the surface and thick, burllike, deep, woody roots. Root crown diameter can be quite large after repeated fires [5,14,23]. The flowers are in small clusters on long axillary peduncles. The fruit is a three-lobed, dry, dehiscent capsule [4,13]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : New Jersey tea reproduces from seed and by sprouting. It is propagated from stem or root cuttings [5,23,34]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : New Jersey tea is widespread and can be found on dry open plains and prairielike areas, on sandy or rocky soils in clearings at the edge of woods, on riverbanks or lakeshores, in woodlands, and on hillsides [17,27,36]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species New Jersey tea is an early- to mid-seral species [15,21]. It can rapidly colonize disturbed sites where its nitrogen-fixing ability gives it a competitive edge over other species [7]. New Jersey tea declines as successional communities mature [15,21]. New Jersey tea has disappeared from a dry sand prairie in Indiana where it was observed in 1897. Fire exclusion, woody plant invasion, and possibly pollution have altered the structure and species composition in the area [9]. New Jersey tea is found in greatest abundance at high light intensities [25]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : New Jersey tea flowers from May through July. Its fruit ripens from August to early October [23].


SPECIES: Ceanothus americanus
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : New Jersey tea is well adapted to fire [1,31]. After being top-killed by fire, it sprouts from rootsocks [5]. Where frequent fires occur it becomes a conspicuous dominant forming clusters among prairie grasses. It also occurs in oak woods of New York where fires have occured frequently [31]. In black oak woodlands of nortwestern Indiana, New Jersey tea was present in 2 areas with slightly different fire regimes. New Jersey tea cover and frequency were greater where low-severity fires occurred at mean intervals of 5.2 years than where more severe fires occured less often (mean fire return interval=11.1 years) [16]. In northern Minnesota it withstood grass fires better than any other shrub [28]. FIRE REGIMES: Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Small shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Ceanothus americanus
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : New Jersey tea is typically top-killed by fire [5]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : New Jersey tea responds positively to fire. DeSelm and Clebsch [8] reported that it showed a net increase in cover in both annual and periodic burn treatments in Tennessee. In oak woodlands of central New York, the average frequency of New Jersey tea was higher on burned than unburned sites (33% vs 17%) [31]. These accidental spring burns killed or severely injured 16 percent of the oak trees present. In an oak savanna in east-central Minnesota, New Jersey tea was classified among the "true prairie shrubs" that tended to increase in percent cover following fire [32]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

References for species: Ceanothus americanus

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24. Rudolf, Paul O. 1990. Pinus resinosa Ait. red pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 442-455. [13246]
25. Shirley, Hardy L. 1932. Light intensity in relation to plant growth in a virgin Norway pine forest. Journal of Agricultural Research. 44: 227-244. [10360]
26. Smith, H. Clay. 1990. Carya tomentosa (Poir.) Nutt. mockernut hickory. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 226-233. [17165]
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