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CARYOPTERIS divaricata

Image of Caryopteris divaricata

Jessie Keith

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

CARYOPTERIS divaricata

Plant Common Name

Bluebeard

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Blue spiraea is a large perennial that produces small purple-blue flowers that if only enlarged, would make an extravagant ladies hat to debut at the races. The green leaves of this Himalayan native plant are found opposite each other and have large toothed margins. In late summer, the flower arise from the leaf joints at the tips of stems. The flowers could arguably make an orchid jealous: the 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 is to attract a specific pollinator, likely hovering bees.

Blue spiraea should be planted in full or partial sun in a light soil that has good drainage. Flowering and overall fullness of the plant will be much better with ample sunshine. 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. Cultivar 'Pink Illumination' has variegated white and pink flowers on yellow and green variegated foliage, and 'Snow Fairy' has the blue flowers atop variegated white and green leaves.

Characteristics

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • 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

    White, Blue, Blue Violet

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • 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

    No

  • 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

    No