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Buddleia davidii - Franch.                
Common Name Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac, Butterflybush
Family Buddleiaceae
Synonyms B. variabilis. Buddleja davidii.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found in rocky riverside habitats 1300 - 2600 metres in China[200]. Waste places, often on brick walls in Britain[17].
Range E. Asia - China. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Bloom Color: Lavender, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early spring, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Buddleia davidii is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Buddleia davidii Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac, Butterflybush

Buddleia davidii Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac, Butterflybush
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; East Wall. In. South Wall. In. West Wall. In.
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known
Other Uses

Black or green dyes can be obtained from the flowers, leaves and stems combined[168]. An orange-gold to brown dye can be obtained from the flowers[168].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Pest tolerant, Massing, Standard, Specimen. Requires a sunny position[11, 182]. Prefers a rich loamy well-drained soil[11, 200]. Very tolerant of alkaline soils, atmospheric pollution and maritime exposure[200]. Grows best on dry soils of low fertility, where it can seed itself freely[182]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[184], they resprout from the base if cut back by cold weather[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Polymorphic, there are many named varieties, developed for their ornamental value[182]. The flowers emit a musk-like fragrance like heather honey[245]. Plants flower mainly on the current years growth so a hard pruning in spring will encourage better flowering[200]. An excellent plant for bees and butterflies[30]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Seed - cold stratify for 4 weeks at 4°c[138] and surface sow the seed in February/March in a greenhouse[78, 113]. Germination usually takes place within 3 - 4 weeks at 21°c[138]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Seedlings are inclined to damp off and so should be watered with care and kept well-ventilated[78]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[11, 113]. Use short side-shoots[78]. Very high percentage[113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm long, October/November in a frame[200].
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[30]Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[113]Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
[138]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[168]Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
[182]Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
David Beaulieu Tue Jan 24 2006

Butterfly Bush Uses for butterfly bush and how to grow it.

Elizabeth H.
trisha Mon Apr 30 2007
Other use: Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight' - I have one that produces a great crop of long straight branches, which, when harvested in late Autumn, before the frosts start, stripped of leaves and small branchlets, can be tied together in bunches and stored in a cool, dry, dark environment to make excellent plant canes/supports for the following year.
Elizabeth H.
Jorie Colwell Sat Jan 2 2010
I hope someone can tell me whether Buddleia branches, the thicker, overgrown and woody ones, can be used for kindling and larger pieces of firewood. If you have found this to be a usable wood for emergency use especially, please let me know at bearhaven@suddenlink.net. Thanks, Jorie.
Sally M.
Aug 18 2010 12:00AM
My general interest and research is into wild foods and whilst researching and writing recipes for my wild food e-book, I made syrup this year from Buddleia davidii flowers. It was extremely delicious in its own right without mention of its medicinal qualities. It has, apparently, been used for centuries in Chinese medicine for the treatment of bronchial complaints and is known for its sedative and calming influences upon the system. Through my personal use of it I found it to be of a gently soporiphic nature and definitely excellent for sleep and rest. No harmful side effects noted or experienced when taking one teaspoon up to one dessertspoonful at any given time, although I would not recommend taking it if needing to operate machinery, due to its sedative qualities. One could mix the syrup with fizzy water and ice for a refreshingly different non alcoholic evening drink whilst watching the sun go down!
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