Content Detail

A mounded woody plant with cornflower-blue flowers in late summer and fragrant, silvery-green foliage. The plant can grow 2 to 3 feet high and wide. Though bluebeard is technically a shrub, it should be treated as a perennial in the Midwest because it tends to die back in harsh winters.

  • Family (English) Verbenaceae
  • Family (botanic) Vervain
  • Tree or plant type Perennial, Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Blue
  • Shape or form Mounded, Round
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

Native geographic location and habitat:

Bluebeard is of hybrid origin.

Attracts birds & butterflies:

The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Bluebeard has simple, opposite, 1 to 2 inch long leaves that are lance-shaped. Leaves can be entire to finely toothed. The color is blue-gray with silvery undersides that change to a buttery yellow in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

It has cornflower blue flowers borne in clusters (cymes) from the axils of the stem in late summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

There are clusters of tan capsules which are ornamentally interesting in winter.

Plant care:

Plant bluebeard in full sun and well-drained soil because it can die in wet, winter clay soils. Though bluebeard is technically a shrub, the plant should be treated as a perennial because it will die back to the ground in harsh winters. Cut back in early spring to promote new growth and flowers. It is best planted in groups for bigger flowering impact. 

List of pests and diseases:

There aren’t any serious pest or disease problems, but root rot may occur in poorly drained sites. Bluebeard is deer resistant.

Blue Mist bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’):

This cultivar has powder blue flowers.

Dark Knight bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Dark Knight’):

Growing 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide with an upright habit, Dark Knight has rich deep blue flowers.

Longwood Blue bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Longwood Blue’):

A taller cultivar reaching a height of 3 to 4 feet high with violet-blue flowers.

Petit Bleu™ bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Minblue’):

A more compact shrub growing only 24 to 30 inch tall with deep blue flowers.

Sapphire Blue™ bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’):

This cultivar grows 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. It has a compact, mounded habit with deep blue flowers and gray-green leaves.


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