Bluebeard shrubs, botanically known as Caryopteris, Bluebeard shrubs, botanically known as Caryopteris, and commonly known as Blue Spirea, is in a family of small shrubs that bloom from late summer to early fall. Caryopteris is actually a woody plant, but in cooler climates it is killed back to the ground in winter and functions as an herbaceous perennial. Caryopteris is Asian in origin and the name is Greek in origin. The Greek word means ‘winged nut’, which refers to the small winged fruit that appears after the flowers are spent.
Caryopteris are known for their low maintenance and disease resistance. They are drought tolerant and will perform well in full sun or in light shade. They will not tolerate wet, boggy soils, especially in the winter. Bluebeard is a magnet for butterflies and is so attractive with the true blue flowers. Bluebeard blooms on new wood, so all winter damaged branches can be pruned off in early spring without losing any flowers. Do not over fertilize. Too much fertilizer will make more leafy growth than flowers. Bluebeard is used for mixed borders and for a low shrub border. Floral arrangements are enhanced by using the airy blue flowers as blue filler.