Plant This: ‘Dark Knight’ caryopteris


I’m growing bluebeard for the first time, convinced to try it by a fellow shopper at Barton Springs Nursery last spring who said how great ‘Dark Knight’ Caryopteris x clandonensis had performed for her in a hot, sunny bed. Of course I don’t have too many sunny spots in my live oak-shaded garden, so mine makes do with some midday sun. It’s hung on rather quietly all summer, biding its time, and last week it suddenly burst into bloom. Like the emergence of the oxblood lily and the purpling of American beautyberry, the lavender caryopteris flowers are a harbinger of fall.


A wider view. I’m sure in more sun this plant would have a fuller, more compact appearance. But even with its lankier form in part shade, I’m happy to have one more plant confirming that fall is on the way.

For more Bloom Day posts from around the world, visit meme hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens. And remember, it’s Foliage Follow-Up tomorrow!

Note: My Plant This posts are written primarily for gardeners in central Texas. The plants I recommend are ones I’ve grown myself and have direct experience with. I wish I could provide more information about how these plants might perform in other parts of the country, but gardening knowledge is local. Consider checking your local online gardening forums to see if a particular plant might work in your region.

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

12 Responses

  1. Bernieh says:

    What a lovely thing it is. I love the colour of the flowers.

  2. Paul says:

    Beautiful, love those velvety buds. I may try this in our garden to see if it extends the season of with a little late colour.

  3. Lea says:

    Very interesting!
    I haven’t seen this plant before.
    Happy Bloom Day!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

  4. Amy F says:

    Beautiful, intense lavender-blue. I saw this plant last week at Barton Springs Nursery, but I’m trying to stick to my list for fall…may have to amend the list!

  5. Barbara H. says:

    I love Caryopteris, especially Sunshine Blue which has yellow leaves. It does self seed but the babies are easy to pull out or move.

  6. Janice Alexander says:

    Beautiful….wondering how it would fare in SC near the coast….we are becoming more and more tropical…humid and lots of rain! But we have sun and we have heat!

  7. Alison says:

    I’m growing Caryopteris for the first time this year too. Mine is still small, but doing well, and the blue flowers are so welcome at this time of year. Despite being in a partly shaded spot, yours looks really healthy.

  8. Took me a while to warm up to this one, but I now get it’s more refined look than similarly-colored Russian Sage. Your’s impressive, and I hear it loves heavy clay soils. and I know it loves heat anywhere in NM, and you’re right about it being more compact and full in more sun.

  9. James says:

    Looks like a cool plant. Great flowers and the foliage appears to be nice to look at even out of flower. And anything that looks that nice at this season deserves a spot in the garden. Happy Bloomday!

  10. Jason says:

    I’m helping a friend re-do a bed in her backyard that is sunny and dry and I’m pushing this plant. I don’t have it myself, but have seen it at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

  11. Julie says:

    I’ve always loved caryopteris–and ours also tends to do well with minimal sun, as our gardens are almost entirely shady. However, this summer it seems that we’re losing one of the plants in a front bed, but the other in the back garden is bursting with blooms. It’s such a great pollinator magnet–and a nice burst of color for our tired garden. Happy Bloom Day, Pam!

  12. ricki says:

    Plant this? OK…always do what I’m told, dontcha know. If we keep having summers like this, it might do fine here.

    Ha! No, it’s not an order, Ricki, just a suggestion. :-) Does that mean you had an unnaturally warm, sunny summer in the Pacific NW? —Pam

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