Caryopteris Species, Autumn Blue Spiraea, Bluebeard, California Lilac

Caryopteris incana

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Caryopteris (kar-ee-OP-ter-iss) (Info)
Species: incana (in-KAN-nuh) (Info)
Synonym:Nepeta incana



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Castro Valley, California

Davis, California

Richmond, California

San Anselmo, California

Santa Clara, California

Yorkville, Illinois

Frederick, Maryland

Averill Park, New York

Poughkeepsie, New York

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 8, 2008, SteveLloyd941 from Frederick, MD wrote:

I've got four Caryopteris Chanodensis and they are beautiful in late summer when everything else starts to get brown and bedraggled. Three of these are from a local nursery and were already two years old. They are in an eastern exposure where they get sun until rounghly noon. The fourth was purchased from Spring Hill and took two years to amount to anything. However, it is exposed to the sun virtually all day and has a deeper blue color and a more symmetrical shape than the other three. They do, indeed, seem to thrive in dry conditions. I reccomend them highly -- very easy to care for.


On Dec 30, 2007, ArianesGrandma from Yorkville, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

MY plant DID grow "TRUE" from SEED. I collected them from MY Plants before I moved and put them in the ground of my new home. That same year I had Caryopteris Growing Just like the original plant I had left behind. I have NEVER Purchased one since I moved here and my is growing GREAT from SEEDS... Smells heavenly and looks Just like the one I left behind!


On Mar 24, 2005, pokerboy from Canberra,
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant has unusual blue flowers and I have found it to be quite drought tolerant, even in LARGE tubs. pokerboy.


On Sep 14, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Parent to the more widely grown Caryopteris x clandonensis, a blue flowering shrub for zones 6 and warmer. In colder climates, it may be grown as an herbaceous perennial. Blue flowers attract bumblees and provide intense blue color late in the season.

A weeping form is available.