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.
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.
- Caryopteris aureoglandulosa (Vaniot) C.Y.Wu
- Caryopteris bicolor (Roxb. ex Hardw.) Mabb.
- Caryopteris divaricata Maxim. - Common cultivars include 'Snow Fairy'
- Caryopteris forrestii Diels
- Caryopteris glutinosa Rehd.
- Caryopteris grata Benth.
- Caryopteris incana (Thunb. ex Houtt.) Miq.
- Caryopteris jinshajiangensis Y.K.Yang & X.D.Cong
- Caryopteris mongholica Bunge
- Caryopteris nepetifolia (Benth.) Maxim.
- Caryopteris odorata (Ham. ex Roxb.) Rob.
- Caryopteris paniculata C.B.Clarke
- Caryopteris siccanea W.W.Smith
- Caryopteris tangutica Maxim.
- Caryopteris terniflora Maxim.
- Caryopteris trichosphaera W.W.Smith
Cultivation and uses
Though several Caryopteris species are grown in botanical gardens, as ornamental plants the species have largely been superseded in gardens by the hybrid Caryopteris × clandonensis (C. incana × C. mongholica).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. 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. This small, deciduous, aromatic shrub has grey-green leaves and produces masses of blue flowers in late summer. 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'.
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.
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- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Caryopteris
- Flora of China: Caryopteris
- Flora of Pakistan: Caryopteris
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
- David S. MacKenzie, Perennial Ground Covers, s.v. "Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Arthur Simmonds'".
- Coats (1964) 1992.
- "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".
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Arthur Simmonds'". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'First Choice'". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Worcester Gold'". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Wayside Gardens introduced "blue Mist" in the 1950s: "several years ago" in Popular Gardening and Living Outdoors, 7 (1956:15).