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Caryopteris or bluebeard are graceful frost-tender bushes, appreciated for their flowering in different shades of blue at the end of the season. Their deciduous grey-green foliage is aromatic, and their bouquet-like flowers with long stamens last from August to September. There are 6 species, including Caryopteris clandonensis, which grows up to 1m (3.3ft) tall and has blue-violet flowers, 'Summer gold' which is 50 cm (20in) tall with golden foliage, or 'Grand Bleu' which is compact and royal blue. They grow in rich, deep, well-drained, neutral or chalky soils in sunny and warm locations, sheltered from the wind. Pruning is done in March, when the plant can be cut very short. In cold regions, bluebeards are planted against a south-facing wall and protected with mulch in winter. Caryopteris is used in borders with perennials. Paired with cinquefoils or white perpetual roses or yellow ones, they create a sensation!


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