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Kariganeso 07c4561.jpg
Caryopteris divaricata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Caryopteris

See text

Caryopteris (bluebeard; Chinese: 莸属 you shu) is a genus of 16 species of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae (formerly often placed in the family Verbenaceae), native to eastern and southern Asia.[1][2][3][4]

They are herbaceous plants or small shrubs growing to 1–4 m tall. The leaves are opposite, simple ovate to lanceolate, with an entire or crenate margin; they are often aromatic. The blue or white flowers are pollinated by butterflies and bumblebees. The fruit is a four-valved capsule containing four seeds.[2][3][4]



Cultivation and uses[edit]

Though several Caryopteris species are grown in botanical gardens, as ornamental plants the species have largely been superseded in gardens by the hybrid Caryopteris × clandonensis (C. incana × C. mongholica). The accidental cross that produced it occurred in the garden of Arthur Simmonds at Clandon, near Guildford, Surrey.[5] In 1930, wishing to propagate C. mongholica, he gathered seeds from a plant that was growing near C. mastacanthus. When the seedlings eventually flowered in their second year, hybrids appeared. The final selection, however, was made of a self-sown volunteer that appeared under C. mastacanthus, and eventually smothered it. It began winning Royal Horticultural Society medals in 1933.[6][7] This small, deciduous, aromatic shrub has grey-green leaves and produces masses of blue flowers in late summer.[8] There are several cultivars with flowers in shades of blue or white, including 'Blue Mist', 'Heavenly Blue', 'Longwood Blue', 'Dark Knight', 'Summer Sorbet' and 'Pershore'.

The cultivars 'Arthur Simmonds',[9] 'First Choice'[10] and 'Worcester Gold'[11] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

C. × clandonensis, an unusual plant in American gardens in the 1960s,[12] has become more familiar there, especially in xeriscaping.

Like Buddleja, the woody stems can die back in the winter, particularly in colder climates and on heavy soils. They prefer well-drained, sandy soil in full sun, but does not need especially rich soil or constant moisture.

Leaves and herbaceous stems have a terpene aroma like eucalyptus, especially when lightly bruised.


  1. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Caryopteris
  2. ^ a b c Flora of China: Caryopteris
  3. ^ a b c Flora of Pakistan: Caryopteris
  4. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  5. ^ David S. MacKenzie, Perennial Ground Covers, s.v. "Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Arthur Simmonds'".
  6. ^ Coats (1964) 1992.
  7. ^ "The genus is usually represented by Caryopteris × clandonensis, which has superseded all the original species". Alice M. Coats, Garden Shrubs and Their Histories (1964) 1992, s.v. "Caryopteris".
  8. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Arthur Simmonds'". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'First Choice'". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Worcester Gold'". Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Wayside Gardens introduced "blue Mist" in the 1950s: "several years ago" in Popular Gardening and Living Outdoors, 7 (1956:15).