x-Caryopteri x clandonensis 'Dark Knight'
Caryopteris are one of the most gorgeous small shrubs for late summer colour, providing a flash of blue that is often hard to find at this time of the year.
The stunning flowers of Caryopteris clandonensis 'Dark Knight ' appear in clusters, and are a truly, dazzling deep, royal blue that positively glows in the low light levels so indicative of this time of year. Flowering from late summer until well into the autumn, the vivid blooms smother the plant, gracefully topping arching stems of aromatic silver leaves and drawing in the last butterflies and bees foraging for nectar late in the season.
Grow plants in an open sunny spot on light, free draining soil and cut them back every season, taking the previous years growth down to a couple of buds above the main woody framework. Mulch after pruning to give plants a boost. Caryopteris can also be propagated by semi ripe cuttings in late summer, something which is recommended, as plants are relatively short lived and need replacing once they get too woody and tired.
'Dark Knight' has an attractive tidy, rounded shape that is ideal for the middle of the border, providing form and structure as well as a splash of colour. It also makes a stunning, informal hedge and looks good planted around the base of trees where it can cope well with drier, even drought conditions. Grow with other silver foliaged plants such as Artemisia or the lavender flowered perovskia or contrast with late flowering perennials such as golden rudbeckia or sunshine yellow coreopsis.