Common Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii Franch.

​​Ideal conditions: well drained soil and full sun.  

Stems: green and four-angled with younger stems being hairy and older stems without hair.

Flowers: Small flower are attached to long spikes which can stand erect or droop.  The flowers have a strong lilac type odor to them.  The spikes can be up to 45 cm (18 in) in length.  It can come in colors ranging form white to pink, red to purple.  Usually the center has a orange throat. Another common name is "orange eye".

Leaves: oppositely arranged, lance-shaped.  Each leaf can reach up to 25 cm (10 in) long.  The bottom of the leaves are white with hair.  They are toothed.

Family:     Scrophulariaceae (Figwort family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     200 - 400 cm (6.5-13 ft)

Blooming: July-September

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Comments: Butterfly bush can not only grow quite tall but can grow up to 4.5 m (15 ft) wide.  When escaping from local gardens, it can become invasive.  Do not let butterfly bush go to seed!

Landscape: butterfly bush has been praised as the perfect butterfly plant.  When escaping the comfort of one's landscape, it has the potential of becoming invasive.  It is not even a great food source for the local butterflies and not a host plant for caterpillars.  So, when at your local garden center, make sure to pass this one up.  Don''t be fooled by its "beauty".  There are many gorgeous alternatives for your butterfly garden that should attract far more butterflies.

What to plant instead:

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The mission of Save the Dunes is to preserve, protect and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed for an enhanced quality of life.

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