moderate to low
mid-July through September
3 to 4 ft
3 to 4 ft.
species is native to Himalayas and mountians of east Asia
USDA zones 4-9
hardy to 8,500 ft.
Bluebeard is a small-to-medium-sized round shrub. The slightly aromatic leaves are slender and a light gray-green color in summer, turning yellow in the fall.
The flowers are blue, forming in clusters on the stems that nearly cover the plant. Flowers are followed by small light tan seedpods that persist through the winter.
This is a good plant with interest in all seasons, and it is a popular choice in the Colorado Springs area. Some specific cultivars to consider include the following:
Several of these shrubs are growing very well in groups throughout the Xeriscape Garden in the moderate and low water zones. When these shrubs are in peak bloom, they attract hordes of bees with their flowers. They are located in full sun and part shade. The plants in the shady area are a little more leggy and they have fewer blooms.
If the seedheads are left on the plant for winter interest, it can spread by seed. We hand pull the seedlings that germinate.
The stems of bluebeard will die back partway over the winter. Cut back to new growth to preserve most of the growth, or cut back the stems to ground level to rejuvenate the shrub. The flowers appear on new growth.