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CARYOPTERIS divaricata 'Snowy Fairy'

Image of Caryopteris divaricata 'Snowy Fairy'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

CARYOPTERIS divaricata 'Snowy Fairy'

Plant Common Name

Bluebeard, Snow Fairy Bluebeard

General Description

This selection of bluebeard, ‘Snowy Fairy, is a showy perennial that produces small purple-blue flowers atop stems covered in variegated white and green foliage. The parent is a Himalayan native plant with toothy leaves opposite each other. In late summer, the flowers arise from the leaf joints at the tips of stems. The flowers are nothing short of elaborate: four petals are a rich purplish blue, and the bottom central petal looks like a tongue mottled with white. The long filaments shoot upward from the flower and recurve to dangle the stamens (pollen pods) and pistil (floral tube). Such a refined flower structure commonly evolves to attract a specific pollinator, likely hovering bees.

Plant this shrub in full or partial sun in a light soil that has good drainage. Flowering and overall fullness of 'Snowy Fairy' will be much better with ample sunshine, but in hot climates, the foliage will be better with some shade. It is a great conversational plant, especially in flower, so position it in a border where you can easily view the small flowers at close range. The bright variegated foliage would stand out if in front of dark-leaved plants, such as an evergreen hedge.

Characteristics

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    India, Nepal, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Hedges, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes