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` Caryopteris divaricata
Caryopteris divaricata
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This has to be one of the most peculiar plants that I've ever grown.  Reaching heights of 48" - 72" in part shade to full sun,   Caryopteris divaricata blooms with flowers that I can't even begin to describe.  Hopefully this,  even difficult to photograph,  plant will explain itself to you with the attached jpg.

A vigorous grower and self seeder,  I was given this plant by Fred McGourtey many years ago.  The cool blue color of the unique small flowers captures rays of sunlight and bends them like a prism.

Don't crush the leaves and smell them, as they have an indescribable stink to them.  This is not a problem however, as you can't smell them unless you play with them.

Caryopteris divaricata is the only herbaceous Caryopteris that I know of,   and I still wonder about its classification as a Caryopteris.  It has square stems,  but it isn't a mint.  Someone speculated that it's a Srobilanthes,  but I don't know enough about that genus to speculate.  It's sometimes been referred to as Caryopteris nepalensis and it seems that it is of Japanese origin,  but that is a contentious point also as some folks claim it to be of Himalayan descent.

But....wherever  it's from and whatever it's an easy and fun plant to grow and of course.

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Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
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Last modified February 24, 2009