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Bluebeard Caryopteris x clandonensis

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Bluebeard:

Phonetic Spelling
kay-ree-OP-ter-iss BY klan-dun-EN-sis
Description

Blue spirea is a low, mounding, deciduous shrub in the Lamiaceae (mint) family.  It is a hybrid cross between C. incana and C. mongholica.  The common name blue mist refers to the flowers which have a fluffy cloudlike appearance.  

This light airy shrub quickly reaches an average size 2 to 3 feet tall and wide and has a medium to fine texture.  When there is little else blooming in the garden in the late summer and early fall this plant will delight with its bright blue fragrant flowers that attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.  In cold climates below zone 6 the stems will die back to the ground.

Plant in loose, well-drained loamy soil in the full sun. Too much fertilizer will result in lanky growth.  Cut it back in late winter to improve its form and remove dead stems as the blooms appear on new growth. It is very easy to transplant, tolerant of drought, is pest and disease resistant, and is seldom browsed by deer.

Plant this shrub in groups or mass planting along shrub borders or use as a low growing hedge. Its fragrant foliage and nectar-rich flowers make it a wonderful addition to a cutting, sensory, or pollinator themed garden.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Axillary inflorescences
  • Flowers have a beard at base petal

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  Crown rot may occur in poorly drained soils.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Longwood Blue'
    4 feet tall, fragrant violet blue flowers, silver gray leaves
'Longwood Blue'
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#fragrant leaves#blue flowers#low maintenance#mass planting#hedges#disease resistant#airy#easy to transplant#pest resistant#deer resistant#cutting garden#fantz#late summer flowers#sensory garden#small group plantings#butterfly friendly#shrub borders
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Longwood Blue'
    4 feet tall, fragrant violet blue flowers, silver gray leaves
'Longwood Blue'
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#drought tolerant#shrub#fragrant leaves#blue flowers#low maintenance#mass planting#hedges#disease resistant#airy#easy to transplant#pest resistant#deer resistant#cutting garden#fantz#late summer flowers#sensory garden#small group plantings#butterfly friendly#shrub borders
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Caryopteris
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Bright blue flowers in late summer. Axillary cymes on the uppermost leaves. Bright blue, base petal is elongated like a beard.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite, simple, dull blue-green leaves; 1-2 in. long; whitish below; no fall color; fragrant when crushed. Ovate, half as wide, acute, entire or serrate, muted blue-green above and silvery and tomentose on underside. The pubescent petiole is 1/3" long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    4 sided, grayish green, flat nodes, pubescent.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Insect Pests