Monday, December 14, 2009

Buddleja davidii, Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii 'Nanho Blue'

Buddleja davidii 'Royal Red'

Buddleja davidii 'Nanho Blue' under-planted with Golden Heliotrope

When you get a cool summer
day like today, the Buddleja flowers are at their best and stay looking fresh for most of the day. The flowers are sweetly perfumed and are sometimes given the common name of 'Summer Lilac'. This 2 metre shrub from China with its arching branches and terminal nodding flowers is one of the best shrubs to attract butterflies and beneficial insects to the garden. They make a good background shrub for a vegetable garden though they are a bit of work to keep them looking in good shape
. I give them a hard prune in Spring as they make rapid growth once the weather warms up and I prune off the spent flowers continually at this time of year to keep them producing a fresh supply of buds. You can even pick bunches of the flowers for indoor use though they only last for a couple of days.
In China Buddleija is called Daye Zuiyucao which means 'Intoxicating fish plant', a name derived from the suggestion that the crushed flowers when thrown into water will stupefy fish.
Buddleija davidii will grow across a range of climates from cool temperate to sub tropical.
2017 update: I usually have stock available in early spring


  1. I have a white buddleja, which is flowering profusely now.Your post on Nobokov's book is interesting.

  2. This is one that we just cannot grow here. I don't know what the problem is, but they will invariably die. Yours are lovely.

  3. I can't grow them either. I think it is because of soil nematodes here. I've read that they are very sensitive to nematodes.

    Yours are lovely.

  4. It is my favorite flower but it hardly survives our tough winters. I just love the fragrant blooms and butterflies walking around it.