Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Arthur Simmonds’ – Blue Beard ‘Arthur Simmonds’
(= C. clandonensis) (Wild variety: eastern Asia)
Habit: Small shrub, 0.8-1.2 m tall, 0.8-1 m wide, bushy, broadly round to upright.
Flowers: Dense, umbel-like flower clusters on the leaf axils; with spectacular hues of dark lavender-blue, radial stamen also blue; August to September, slightly aromatic.
Fruits: Brownish grey, woody clusters from October on.
Leaves: Elongatedly lanceolate, up to 5 cm long; silvery when shooting, later shiny dark green on top, whitish or grey tomentose underneath, with strong, pungent aroma.
Twigs: Conspicuous silvery grey, thin.
Roots: Thin, far-reaching roots, not sensitive.
Demands: Only has plentiful flowers in full sunlight, not tolerant of shade, tolerant of heat, likes warmth, not very frost hardy and freezing back almost to the base, but this is no problem as the shoots have to be cut back to the ground anyway to further flower production; good for urban areas.
Soil: Dry to fresh, slightly acidic to very alkaline, all well drained substrates, heavy soil possible but increases sensitivity to frost.
Our tip: Wait to cut until spring and leave the syncarpy on the twigs as they are quite attractive in hoarfrost or first snow. Large amounts of fertiliser reduces the number of flowers.
Hardiness: Zone 6a