THE CASE FOR CARYOPTERI­S

EDP Norfolk - - GARDEN GUIDE -

With the nights draw­ing in and trees and shrubs start­ing to show au­tum­nal hues it’s good to have some plants still flow­er­ing to ex­tend the show for as long as pos­si­ble. Caryopteri­s, prized for their long sea­son, are fan­tas­tic for this as they flower from Au­gust well in to Oc­to­ber and com­bine well with grasses and other late flow­er­ers such as Se­dums, Echi­nacea and Agas­tache.

One of my favourites is C. in­cana ‘Ja­son’ syn. Sun­shine Blue which has bright golden-yel­low fo­liage in spring with amethyst blue flow­ers in late sum­mer and au­tumn when the leaves have aged to a greener yel­low; like other Caryopteri­s it is at­trac­tive to bees, but­ter­flies and other ben­e­fi­cial in­sects. Another top va­ri­ety is C x clan­do­nen­sis ‘Heav­enly Blue’ which has won­der­ful laven­der scented sil­very grey fo­liage which com­ple­ments its clus­ters of dark blue flow­ers beau­ti­fully and makes an com­pact arch­ing shrub around 1m tall.

C. ‘Sum­mer Sor­bet’ also has out­stand­ing fo­liage this one has green and gold var­ie­ga­tion which holds is colour well through­out the sea­son, con­trast­ing well with the pale blue flow­ers pro­duced from late sum­mer to au­tumn. Caryopteri­s flower best in a sunny po­si­tion in well-drained soil. This also pro­duces the best fra­grance in the fo­liage.

Plants can be cut back in spring; I leave two or three buds above ground level. The plant will then pro­duce new shoots which will carry that sea­son’s flow­ers at the end of the sum­mer.

Caryopteri­s x clan­do­nen­sis ‘Heav­enly Blue’

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