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CARYOPTERIS x clandonensis 'Ferndown'

Image of Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Ferndown'

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

CARYOPTERIS x clandonensis 'Ferndown'

Plant Common Name

Bluebeard, Ferndown Bluebeard

General Description

Valued for its relatively dark-hued flowers and compact habit, 'Ferndown' is named after the Dorset, England nursery where it originated about 1950. It is one of many cultivars of the small deciduous shrub Caryopteris × clandonensis (the hybrid of C. incana and C. mongholica).

This rounded, knee-high shrub is densely cloaked with small, narrowly oval, dark green leaves with a silvery sheen. Bruised leaves emit a pungent minty odor. In late summer and early fall pincushion-like clusters of deep violet-blue flowers appear in the leaf axils. The sweetly scented blooms draw masses of pollinators. Unlike many other bluebeard cultivars, 'Ferndown' produces very little fertile seed.

Plant bluebeard in full to partial sun and moderately fertile well-drained soil. It is root-hardy to USDA Zone 5 where it will resprout from the ground in spring. In warmer areas prune it nearly to the ground in late winter to keep it from becoming ragged and rangy. It makes a nice accent plant in the mixed border and looks great planted in rows as a low flowering hedge. This cultivar received an Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    24"-30" / 61.0cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    2'-4' / 0.6m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Yellow

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • 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

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No