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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
  • Barbula Lour.
  • Mastacanthus Endl.

Caryopteris (bluebeard; Chinese: 莸属 you shu) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae (formerly often placed in the family Verbenaceae). They are native to east Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia).[1][2][3][4][5]

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.[3][4][5]

  1. Caryopteris forrestii Diels - Guizhou, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan
  2. Caryopteris glutinosa Rehd. - Sichuan
  3. Caryopteris incana (Thunb. ex Houtt.) Miq. - Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang
  4. Caryopteris jinshajiangensis Y.K.Yang & X.D.Cong - Yunnan
  5. Caryopteris mongholica Bunge - Mongolia, Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shanxi
  6. Caryopteris tangutica Maxim. - Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan
  7. Caryopteris trichosphaera W.W.Smith - Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan
formerly included
  1. Caryopteris aureoglandulosa (Vaniot) C. Y. Wu = Schnabelia aureoglandulosa (Vaniot) P.D.Cantino
  2. Caryopteris bicolor (Roxb. ex Hardw.) Mabb. = Pseudocaryopteris bicolor (Roxb. ex Hardw.) P.D.Cantino
  3. Caryopteris divaricata Maxim = Tripora divaricata (Maxim.) P.D.Cantino
  4. Caryopteris nepetifolia (Benth.) Maxim = Schnabelia nepetifolia (Benth.) P.D.Cantino
  5. Caryopteris paniculata C.B.Clarke = Pseudocaryopteris paniculata (C.B.Clarke) P.D.Cantino
  6. Caryopteris siccanea W.W.Sm. = Rubiteucris siccanea (W.W.Sm.) P.D.Cantino
  7. Caryopteris terniflora Maxim. = Schnabelia terniflora (Maxim.) P.D.Cantino

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Though several Caryopteris species are grown in botanical gardens, as ornamental plants the species have largely been superseded in gardens by the hybrid Caryopteris × clandonensis (C. incana × C. mongholica).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.[6] 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.[7][8] This small, deciduous, aromatic shrub has grey-green leaves and produces masses of blue flowers in late summer.[9] 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',[10] 'First Choice'[11] and 'Worcester Gold'[12] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Caryopteris × clandonensis, an unusual plant in American gardens in the 1960s,[13] 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. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant families
  2. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Caryopteris
  3. ^ a b Flora of China: Caryopteris
  4. ^ a b Flora of Pakistan: Caryopteris
  5. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  6. ^ David S. MacKenzie, Perennial Ground Covers, s.v. "Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Arthur Simmonds'".
  7. ^ Coats (1964) 1992.
  8. ^ "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".
  9. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  10. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Arthur Simmonds'". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'First Choice'". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Worcester Gold'". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  13. ^ Wayside Gardens introduced "blue Mist" in the 1950s: "several years ago" in Popular Gardening and Living Outdoors, 7 (1956:15).

External links[edit]