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 (Chicago), Zone 6, 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:

It 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 one to two inch long leaves that are lance-shaped. The margins can be entire to finely toothed 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; 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 dieback can occur 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 (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’):

This cultivar has powder blue flowers.

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

It has an upright growth habit. Growing three to four feet high and two to three feet wide. Dark Knight has rich deep blue flowers.

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

This is a taller cultivar reaching a height of three to four feet high with violet-blue flowers.

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

It is a compact shrub growing only 24 to 30 inch tall with deep blue flowers.

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

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


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