An open, loose woody shrub reaching 2 to 3 feet tall with violet-blue flowers in late summer and fragrant, silvery-green foliage. Though hoary bluebeard is technically a shrub, it should be treated as a perennial in the Midwest because it tends to die back in harsh winters.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Small shrub (3-5 feet),
- Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Late summer,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Tree & Plant Care
Technically a shrub, but treated as a perennial. Root hardy, but stems can dieback in cold winters.
Grown for late summer flowers, reaching 2 to 3 feet high and wide
Cut back in early spring to promote new growth and better flowering
Best in full sun to part shade in well-drained soil
Will not tolerate wet clay soil
Disease, pests, and problems
no serious problems
root rots in poorly drained sites
Native geographic location and habitat
Japan, Korea, and China
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, lance-shaped toothed leaves up to 3 inches long.
Dull gray foliage with silvery undersides, adds nice contrast to the flowers
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Violet blue flowers are borne in clusters (cymes) from axils of stems in later summer
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Tan capsules add winter interest to shrub
Cultivars and their differences
Sunshine Blue® Hoary Bluebird (Caryopteris incana 'Jason'): Mounded, 2 to 3 feet high and wide. Bright yellow foliage contrasts nicely with bright blue flowers.