A dense evergreen shrub 3 to 8 ft high in the wild, sometimes taller; branchlets rigid, grey-green or purplish, clad with long hairs and rather spiny. Leaves alternate, three-veined, elliptic to ovate, acute at the apex, up to 1 in. long, dark green and lustrous above, undersides covered with long appressed hairs, especially on the veins; margins edged with glandular teeth. Flowers pale to deep blue, in small dense clusters.
Native of California, widely distributed in the Coast Range and common around San Francisco. Of recent introduction, this species is growing well at Glendoick in E. Perthshire and at Malahide Castle near Dublin. It bears a second crop of flowers in the autumn.