Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Plants Worth Noting the Butterfly Bush

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Plants Worth Noting the Butterfly Bush

Article excerpt

This tolerant shrub provides true color in the landscape

With the dog days of summer upon us, only a few flowering shrubs hold true to their color as the Buddleia davidii. Commonly known as the butterfly bush or summer lilac, and formerly referred to as orange eye, it is an excellent choice as the focal point of any summer garden. Even though there are over a hundred species of Buddleia, there are only two that are readily available; the alternifolia and davidii. Named after English Vicar and Botanist Reverend Adam Buddle (1660-1715), the Buddleia Davidii originated in Central and Western China and was introduced to Europe by French missionary David in 1864.

This deciduous, or semi evergreen in warmer climates, brags of rapid rank growth. Reaching heights and widths of up to 15 feet, growth can be expected in early spring and continuing well into summer. Davidii's lanceolate leaves, dull green on top and white tomentose underneath, grow to about 10 inches in length.

The Buddleia Davidii is available in a wide scope of pastel colors such as pink, lilac, white, blue, and, most commonly, purple. Variegated varieties also add contrast to the color spectrum. The flowers of davidii are small, but massed together in clusters to form six- to 12-inch long spikes. The weight of these blooms creates a slight weeping effect. Mature butterflies often visit the blooms of the Buddleia Davidii and with its light fragrance, you should as well. You can expect a long bloom season, usually beginning in early summer exceeding well into autumn.

This hearty drought-resistant shrub is a perfect accent to an arid garden. Tolerant of full hot sun and extreme conditions, the Buddleia davidii will respond rapidly to spring and summer applications of a complete balanced fertilizer. The Buddleia Davidii prefers fast-draining soil with organic compost, but will adapt to virtually all soil types. …

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