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Thread: Bluebeard, WOW!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    SLC, UT
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    Default Bluebeard, WOW!

    Out of all the plants in our yard including Anise Hyssop, Borage, Russian Sage, and Lavender, our 3 Bluebeard plants are by far the favorites of not only the honeybees but the bumblebees and leafcutter bees. They bloom for 2-3 months in the late summer/fall and are literally covered for weeks at a time by our girls.

    Does anyone else have these shrubs planted?

    Here is what I'm talking about:

    http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/...opteris-incana

    http://www.bhg.com/gardening/trees-s...ooming-shrubs/

    We have of the regular and 2 of the 'petit bleu' (a smaller variety). They like them equally.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Clackamas Oregon
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    780

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    My wife was pointing out some purple flowers along the berm and in the center divider. The leaves were not as yellow as this but I was without any idea of what it was. It appears it is available only as a shrub from my search (and spendy at that).
    I am going to put it on my list and see if I can get one to grow (then try rooting hormone on it).
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    6,703

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    Quote Originally Posted by minz View Post
    I am going to put it on my list and see if I can get one to grow (then try rooting hormone on it).
    If you want seeds, try searching for "Caryopteris seed". Here are a few sources:
    http://www.seedman.com/jimfav.htm (about middle of page)
    http://www.tsflowers.com/seeds/caryo...blue_myth.html
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=caryopteris+seed

    Bluebeard and Blue Mist seem to be different names for the same plant.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    i noticed them covered in honeybees when i worked at a nursery...
    now that i have bees of my own, i went searching for the plants
    now i have four of the plants, but i got rooted cuttings (very much cheaper) instead of large pots (will flower faster)
    so i am waiting patiently for them to grow big enough to flower

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    I planted this Bluebeard about two years ago.When i took the picture it was covered with honeybees.
    http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/...s/DSC02051.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
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    219

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    If you buy the plants this time of year, they should be greatly discounted. Here is one example:

    http://www.highcountrygardens.com/in...roduct_id/4793

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    712

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    High Country Gardens is right down the street from me, and Blue Mist Spirea (Bluebeard) is indeed one of the bees favorites. This plant is predominant all over Santa Fe and surrounding areas. My bees are on it from dawn to dark, never fails.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    I saw bees foraging obsessively on these plants in late September at the UBC Botanical Gardens...at first I thought it was some kind of catmint, but it turned out to be Carypopteris (BlueBeard). I found TONS of them at Cedar Rim Nurseries in Langley, BC. They should be pretty easy to find, and you can get mail order sources as well.

    It is hard to find things that are loved by the bees blooming so late in the year. Caryopteris blooms well right up to the hard frost dates.

    I got 6 one gallon specimens (smallish) to plant under my Hydrangea (nice combination), and three more to plant up to their leaf tips in large pots, to make rooted plantlets from. These I will "donate" to local empty lots and pathways!

    There is one really lovely cultivar, "Worcester Gold" which has the lovely yellow-green chartreuse leaves. A showstopper when in bloom.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2011
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    SLC, UT
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    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    After a soft freeze a week ago my Bluebeards are only now finished blooming. They had bees on them for over 3 months this summer!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Essex IA USA
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    34

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    Well I am certainly intrigued! I don't find it listed as a major or minor nectar producer but I sure like the color & with so many comments it is worth consideration. Does anyone know if the "Sunshine Blue" has equal "bee appeal"?

  11. #11
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    Jul 2012
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    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    I have read that Sunshine Blue (which has the nice chartreuse leaves) is also beloved of bees. So go ahead and plant! For some reason Caryopteris rarely makes the "bee plant" list, but they are a really valuable addition to the bee garden.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    paulding Georgia USA
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    152

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    Funny, I just planted 3 of these the other day from my local nursery after noticing how much the bumble bees seem to like them. They had no id sticker or anything on the plant, but the lady who worked there thought they might be bluebeard. Thanks for posting, now I know for sure what they are. After reading how much the bees like them, I will try to find some more.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Essex IA USA
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    34

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    I am fascinated by discussions of "bee plants" and what differentiates major & minor nectar producers. I dug up this explanation from "American Honey Plants" by Frank Chapman Pellet.:

    "There are some plants rich in nectar which can never be important to the beekeeper because they are not sufficiently plentiful.
    Honey production, as a business enterprise, is dependent upon a few species which yield nectar abundantly and which are sufficiently common to enable the bees to secure honey in large quantity."

    Or to put it differently: "Bees collect nectar and pollen from many different plant species, but only a few of these plants grow in enough profusion and produce enough nectar that a surplus of honey may be harvested."

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson View Post
    I have read that Sunshine Blue (which has the nice chartreuse leaves) is also beloved of bees. So go ahead and plant! For some reason Caryopteris rarely makes the "bee plant" list, but they are a really valuable addition to the bee garden.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
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    600

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    I'm looking forward to my little Jason bluebeard next year.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Battleground, WA
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    15

    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    This year I noted bluebeard / caryopteris at the nursery, covered with honeybees when most of the other plants there were not. So I bought a plant. Later I found 2 more plants on closeout and bought those. I'm hoping they can be sources of hardwood cuttings to plant in the winter / spring, as well as growing larger on their own.

    My experience was the same as others here - obsessively foraged by honeybees, for many weeks. Bees ignored some other plants I thought would be foraged, but they were always on the bluebeard.

    I also read they re-seed easily, so maybe I can collect seeds from the spent flower heads this fall, to plant in spring.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Bluebeard, WOW!

    The bees do love them...and not much else is going at that time of the year! I took one that I bought last fall, buried it up to its leaf tips in a big pot of rich earth, and left it till this August. All the branches had rooted nicely, allowing me to dig them up and repot as 8 new caryopteris shublets! I want to put in a ton in my beeyard... I am planning a long (50') row of spring flowering heather, a row of catmint, a row of mixed clovers which I will reseed throughout the early season, a row of buckwheat (also reseeded) and a row of caryopteris!

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