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Sometimes called bluebeard, this garden hybrid is a cross between two lovely Chinese species, and is one of the best small shrubs for late colour in the border. It is hardier than often thought and will survive most winters unscathed any damage to shoots is removed by hard annual pruning, which keeps plants flowering prolifically and prevents a bare base from developing. The bushes are dome-shaped, with new stems arching gracefully under the weight of the dense, deep blue flower clusters, which stand out well against the soft green foliage.
Cultivar: Dark Knight
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: Blue
Foliage colour: Light green
Feature: Flowers, Aromatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Skill level: Experienced
Time to take cuttings: April to July
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