Caryopteris Bunge

Caryopteris is a genus of, depending on genus delimitation, seven or more species, all native in an area that ranges from Central to East Asia. Three species and a hybrid are cultivated as ornamentals in Europe (Wann 2000). Their separation is not always straightforward. Most garden plants exhibit more or less intermediate features and are best referred to as Caryopteris xclandonensis. However, C. incana, one of its putative parents, is also relatively widespread in cultivation (Hoffmann 2006). Both have been recorded as escapes in Belgium.

The classification of Caryopteris (and Clerodendrum) has long been controversial. Both genera were traditionally placed in Verbenaceae but in fact belong in Lamiaceae (more precisely Ajugoideae) (Cantino & al. 1992, 1999; Mabberley 2008).

In its traditional circumscription Caryopteris is paraphyletic (Cantino & al. 1999). The single species (hybrid) here concerned belongs with Caryopteris s.str.

1. Leaves lanceolate to elliptic, margins entire and/or with a few teeth in the upper half === Caryopteris xcladonensis

1. Leaves ovate to oblong, margins with coarse teeth === C. incana


Cantino P.D., Harley A.M. & Wagstaff S.J. (1992) Genera of Labiatae: status and classification. In: Harley R.M. & Reynolds T. (eds.) Advances in labiate science. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: 511-522.

Cantino P.D., Wagstaff S.J. & Olmstead R.G. (1999) Caryopteris (Lamiaceae) and the conflict between phylogenetic and pragmatic considerations in botanical nomenclature. Syst. Bot. 23: 369-386. [available online at:]

Chen S.-L. & Gilbert M.G. (1994) Caryopteris. In: Wu Z.-Y. & Raven P.H. (eds.), Flora of China, vol. 17. Bejing, Science Press: 43-47. [available online at:]

Hoffman M.H.A. (2006) Caryopteris – sortimentsonderzoek en keuringsrapport. Dendroflora 43: 65-79. [available online at:]

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Moldenke H.N. (1983) Notes on the genus Caryopteris (Verbenaceae). Phytologia 52(6): 415-437.

Moldenke H.N. (1983) Additional notes on the genus Caryopteris (Verbenaceae) : 1. Phytologia 52(7): 452-490.

Moldenke H.N. (1983) Additional notes on the genus Caryopteris (Verbenaceae): 2. Phytologia 53(2): 146-164.

Moldenke H.N. (1983) Additional notes on the genus Caryopteris (Verbenaceae): 3. Phytologia 53(3): 198-218.

Pirc H. (2003) Caryopteris – neue Sorten mit besseren Eigenschaften. Gartenpraxis 3: 42-48.

Wann J.D. (2000) Caryopteris. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 6. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 156.

Xiang C.L., Zhao F., Cantino P.D., Drew B.T., Li B., Liu. E., Solits D.E., Pamela P.S. & Peng H. (2018) Molecular systematics of Caryopteris (Lamiaceae) and its allies with reference to the molecular phylogeny of subfamily Ajugoideae. Taxon 67: 376-394. [available online at:

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith