Caryopteris (Bluebeard, Blue spirea, Blue-mist Shrub)
is a genus of flowering plants in family Lamiaceae, comprising 16 species, native to eastern and southern Asia.
Caryopteris is a perennial or deciduous shrub growing to 1-4 m tall. Its leaves are often aromatic, opposite, simple ovate to lanceolate, with an entire or crenate margin. It bears bright blue or white flowers in late summer and autumn. The flowers are often pollinated by butterflies and bumble bees. The fruit is a four-valved capsule containing four seeds.
Several species of Caryopteris are grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Their woody stems can die back in winter, particularly in colder climates. Most available cultivars have been developed from Caryopteris x clandonensis
( C.incana x C.mongholica
). They are small, deciduous shrubs which bears clusters of small flowers in shades of blue from late summer to early autumn. Cut back plants in spring. Among the cultivars of C. x clandonensis
are 'Ferndown' which bears lovely deep violet-blue flowers; 'Arthur Simmons' has purplish-blue flowers; 'Heavenly blue' has rich blue flowers, and 'Kew Blue' has dark blue flowers. The leaves of most forms are dark green with distinct silver-grey on the underside. The cultivar 'Worcester Gold' bears pale lavender-blue flowers and has yellow foliage. C. incana
has long, grey-green leaves and bright blue flowers in late summer to autumn.
Plant Caryopteris in sun and in well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed in autumn, softwood cuttings in late spring. Capsid bugs are pest known to affect the growth of Caryopteris.
Dried flowers of Caryopteris incana