Monday, September 17, 2012

White Surprise

Day 216
The Daily DuBrule

Naming plants is a tricky business. Sometimes a name is a perfect fit. Other times you scratch your head and wonder. Caryopteris 'White Surprise' is a great plant but the name annoys me. Why? The flowers are blue. The leaves are green and white. With a name like 'White Surprise' I would expect the flowers to be white. It took me a while to realize what the deal was here. I can imagine how the grower found this variegated plant and said "What a surprise!". Okay, I'll give them that...

Don't get me wrong, this is really a fabulous new variety of blue mist shrub. The variegation is crisp, not cream but white and green. The contrast with the flowers is so light and soft for September. I have paired it with Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and Allium senescens 'Glaucum' on the south side of my house. All three love it hot and dry.

It's like Stokesia 'Peachie's Pick'. I was so excited, I thought it was a new peach form of Stoke's aster. Nope, it was named after a woman named Peachie. But of course. 


  1. This is a FABULOUS plant in my Ontario garden, much bigger than I ever expected given my dismal record with Caryopteris. I agree with you about the name though... just as I did with your thoughts on 'Leptodermis' sounding like a skin disease. We need a better name! I'll stick with 'Blue Mist' for the time being.

  2. Made me laugh. Especially Peachie's Pink! Plant cultivar names can be odd. I simply cannot buy plants named for food items, even if they are accurately descriptive, like Echinacea Tomato Soup or E. Mac n' Cheese. Eeeew. Wrong.