Buddleia - Buddleia davidii, click for a larger image
Photo ©2002 Marco Bleeker
Click photo for a larger image

Buddleia - Buddleia davidii
Family - Scrophulariaceae
Also known as - Butterfly Bbush, Summer Lilac

Common garden shrub with a vigorous growth up to 5M (16ft), widely naturalised on waste ground, coastlines and poor soils.  It is a native species in central China and Japan.  Forms a dense arching growth of branching, weak woody stems, pale brown bark becomes deeply fissured with age.  Opposite narrow pointed lanceolate leaves 7-13cm (3-5in) long, woolly beneath when young, are dark on the upper side and lighter almost grey underneath.  Honey scented hermaphroditic Purple flower spikes as terminal panicles appear from June to September, they are very attractive to butterflies.

Rarer variegated forms are sometimes found, whilst a white flowering commercial variety "Peace" and other orange-yellow, lilac-blue types are sometimes seen.  Widely used as a showy ornamental plant with many named varieties in cultivation.  An imported species regarded by some as invasive due to its quick growth and toleration of a wide variety of habitats.  It rapidly colonises waste ground, railway embankments and roadsides, becoming naturalised in Australia, central and southern Europe.  B. davidii is apparently named for the Basque missionary and explorer in China, Father Armand David, who first noticed the shrub.

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