Buddleja (Butterfly bush)

Buddleja (Buddleia) is a genus of flowering plants in family Scrophulariaceae, comprising about 100 species which are mostly shrubs, with a few being trees. It was named after Reverend Adam Buddle (1662-1715), a botanist and a rector in Essex, England. Its common name is Butterfly Bush.

Buddlejas are deciduous, evergreen or semi-evergreen shrubs, growing for their fragrant flowers, which attract butterflies. Most have dark green, lance-shaped to ovate leaves. The flowers comes in dense panicles of 10-50cm long; each individual flower is tubular of about 1cm long, with four petals of 3-4mm across. Depending of species and cultivars, the color of Buddleja flowers varies widely, with white, pink, red, purple, blue, orange or yellow. The flowers are rich in nectar and often sweetly scented. Buddleja's fruit is a small capsule of 1cm long and 1-2mm in diameter, containing many small seeds. In a few species, the capsule is soft and fleshy, forming a berry.

Some species of Buddleja are popular garden plants. Not only are the flowers attract butterflies, they also attract bees and moths. Several species of Buddleja with red flowers attract hummingbirds. Buddleja davidii from central China is the most popular cultivated species, with green to grey-green leaves and pale mauve flowers. It was named after French naturalist Pere Armand David. B. davidii'Harlequin' has yellow-edged leaves and dark red-purple flowers, while B.' White Harlequin' has cream-edged leaves and white flowers. B. 'Lochinch' has purple-blue, yellow-eyed flowers from late summer.

Other popular garden species include Buddleja globosa from southern Chile. It has dark green leaves and fragrant yellow and orange globular flowerheads, borne in early summer.

Buddleja is easy to grow, and grow well in sun and in well-drained soil. Propagation is by semi-ripe cuttings in summer and hardwood cuttings in autumn. The common pests that attack Buddleja are capsid bugs and mullein moth.

Buddleja alternifolia 'Nanho Purple'Buddleja alternifolia 'Nanho Purple'
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddleja_alternifolia_%27Nanho_Purple%27-IMG_6159.jpg
authorshipC T Johansson
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 Buddleja alternifolia Buddleja alternifolia
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddleja_alternifolia_A.jpg
authorshipWouter Hagens
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Buddleja AsiaticaBuddleja Asiatica
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddleja_asiatica_(5497773106).jpg
authorshipDrew Avery
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Buddleja crispaBuddleja crispa
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddleja_crispa_inflorescence.jpg
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Buddleja davidiiBuddleja davidii
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddleia2.jpg
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Buddleja davidii Buddleja davidii
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BuddlejaDavidiiStrauch.jpg
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Buddleja fallowiana var. albaBuddleja fallowiana var. alba
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddleja_fallowiana_var._alba_flowers.jpg
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Buddleja madagascariensisBuddleja madagascariensis
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_010419-0033_Buddleja_madagascariensis.jpg
authorshipForest & Kim Starr
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Buddleja utahensis Buddleja utahensis
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddleja_utahensis_7.jpg
authorshipStan Shebs
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 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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