University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial of the Month - April 2000

Caryopteris First Choice

Caryopteris x clandonensis 'First Choice'

(cary-op' tear-iss clan-doe-nen' siss)

Common name: Blue Mist, Bluebeard

Family: Vervain (Verbenaceae)

Height x width: 30-36" x 36", more dense and compact than other cultivars

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: opposite leaves to 3.5" long, undersides gray-white, narrow, usually entire margins; this cultivar with wider leaves than species, dark green, satin appearing surface

Flowers: up to 20 in a tight cluster (cyme), cymes in the upper leaf axils; more buds than most cultivars and species, and earlier bloom; dark ink-blue buds opening to dark purple-blue flowers; late summer, early fall

Hardiness: USDA zone 5, marginal in protected parts of zone 4, to zone 9 in south

Soil: well-drained

Light: full sun

Pests and problems: few if any, none serious

Landscape habit, uses: specimen, mixed borders, massed; good for late summer and nice contrast to usual daisy type flowers of oranges and yellows, or complement to similar colors in fall asters; striking contrast with cultivar 'Worcester Gold' with yellow-gold foliage

Other interest: a recent introduction to growers through PlantHaven, Inc.; originally bred by Peter Catt in England; species is a hybrid between C. indica and . mongholica, originally bred in 1930 in West Clandon, England--hence its common name; genus is native to eastern Asia, and although woody in nature, since it loses its leaves and often dies back to the ground in winter, it is treated as a perennial

Other culture: drought tolerant, underutilized garden species

Propagation: softwood terminal cuttings, late spring or early summer

Sources: commercial listing available from PlantHaven,


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