Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Caryopteris x clandonensis

Common Name
Blue Spirea/Bluebeard
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Shrub
Size
2' - 4' x 2' - 4
Flower Color
Lavender-Blue
Bloom Time
  • Fall
  • Summer
Leaves
Gray-Green
Evergreen
Deciduous
Deer Resistant
Seldom Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
  • Butterfly & Other Insect Nectar
Growth Rate
Fast
Hardiness
Semi-hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Fall Color
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Loam
Drainage
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This is a deciduous, mounding shrub that flowers from July to frost. The flower color ranges from powder blue to lavender and purples. The leaves have a very pleasant odor when brushed against. Bees are very attracted to the nectar from the flowers. Looks good in both a shrub and perennial border or against a fence or wall. Companion plants include Echinacea, Achillea, Golden Pineapple Sage,Rudbeckia and Teucrium chamaedrys.

Grows well in a variety of soils but does best in soil that has been enriched with compost. Plant slightly above soil grade in full sun for best bloom development. Flowers bloom on new wood so prune back to live buds in late winter. Can cut woody stems down to the ground but the size of the plant will depend on how far back you cut it.

Bee magnet!

No serious pests or diseases.

Master Gardener Comments

This is a wonderful bee magnet. When in bloom not only do you have a lovely color and fragrance but the steady buzz of bees which seem to cover the bush at times. Pinch back after each wave of blooms to keep it blooming right into November.

Varietals

C. clandonensis 'Blue Mist' - 2' -3' x 2' -3', light blue flowers

C. clandonensis 'Dark Knight' - 2' x 3', dark blue flowers

C. clandonensis ' Longwood Blue'  - 3' x 3', violet blue flowers

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