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Genus Buddleia

Buddleia Buddleia davidii 'Lochinch' Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner
BUD-lee-ah Synonyms: Buddleja
The genus Buddleia includes 100 species of shrubs, trees, climbers, and perennials from Asia, Africa, and North and South America. Their main attribute is the showy panicles of small, tubular flowers, which are often fragrant. The foliage is also noteworthy in some species. Use in a border or as specimens. Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other insects are attracted to some species.
Noteworthy characteristics: Showy panicles of fragrant flowers that often attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Care: In the garden, grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Various species have different pruning requirements. In the greenhouse, grow in full light with good ventilation. Water sparingly in winter.
Propagation: Sow seed at 66° to 75°F in spring, or root semi-ripe cuttings in summer. B. davidii can be propagated from hardwood cuttings taken in autumn.
Problems: Susceptible to capsid bug, caterpillars, weevils, mullein moth, and spider mites. Fungal leaf spots and diebacks occur less often.

Species, varieties and cultivars for genus Buddleia

Buddleia 'Lochinch' Buddleia 'Lochinch'
(Butterfly bush, Summer lilac)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Butterfly bushes are carefree deciduous shrubs that are reliably fragrant and easy to grow. Butterflies swarm to their blooms all summer long. 'Lochinch' has extremely fragrant lilac-blue flowers with orange eyes. It is a cross between B. davidii and B. fallowiana. Its arching, mounded habit typically reaches 3 to 5 feet in one season, but can grow much taller in the deep South. The 8-  to 12-inch-long flower spikes begin in late summer and bloom until frost, starting a little later than the B. davidii cultivars.

Buddleia bicolor Buddleia bicolor
(Bicolor butterfly bush)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Butterflies can’t resist this fast-growing shrub! The gorgeous, bi-colored blooms are wonderfully-fragrant and unattractive to pesky deer. Best of all, it begins blooming in midsummer, when gardens need an extra jolt of color. -American Meadows

Buddleia davidii Buddleia davidii
(Butterfly bush, Summer lilac)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This sun-lover comes in hues from pure white to deepest purple. From midsummer until frost, butterfly bush earns its name as hordes of winged beauties flit from flower to flower in search of nectar. The lanceolate leaves are 10 to 12 inches long and white or grayish underneath. The honey-scented flowers are deep purple and grow in spikes, from July to October.

Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight' Buddleia davidii 'Black Knight'
(Butterfly bush, Summer lilac)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Butterfly bushes are carefree deciduous shrubs that are reliably fragrant and easy to grow. Butterflies swarm to their blooms all summer long. 'Black Knight' has deep purple-blue, almost black, flowers in elongated clusters on arching branches to 10 feet tall if not cut back, and half that size if cut back. The blooms come from early summer to first frost. The foliage is willow-like and grayish green.