It is, however, a Caryopteris, specifically C. clandonensis ‘Dark
Knight.’ (At least they got the cultivar right.) This
nursery-to-the-big-boxes chose to scorn the word Caryopteris, which
happens to also be its most commonly used name, and slap a
shortened version of the already outdated and confusing common name
"Blue Mist Spirea" on the damn plants and ship them off by the
thousands to confused homeowners everywhere.
Now, am I just picking nits about a distinction without a
difference? Hardly! Spireas are woody shrubs that bloom in spring and
and are treated like shrubs. Caryopteris are semi-woody plants that
are treated as herbaceous perennials, cut back hard in winter. They
bloom July through September. Yeah, I’d say there’s a difference.
I think I’ll send this link to the busy folks at Hopewell Nursery
with the suggestion that they find a actual plant person to write their
labels. Hardly a radical notion, right? Let’s see if they respond. And maybe I’ve been too quick to let Home Depot off the hook after all. They’re buying from these mislabelers, right? Now I’ll be really be shocked if they respond.