Plantidote of the Day 2010-09-24
Common name: Butterfly bush or summer lilac
Family: Scrophulariaceae (figwort)
Genus: Buddleia (or Buddleja)
Originally from Asia, the butterfly bush is a woody perennial that can be grown in all zones, but is happiest in zones 5 to 10. Overall, it's a low-maintenace plant. It does well in full sun and average soil. Small plants need regular watering, but once they're established butterly bushes are drought tolerant – which is why this one is in my Zone 10 backyard.
Butterfly bush lives up to its name. When it blooms, butterflies, hummingbirds and bees can't leave it alone. The fragrant flowers appear on new growth, though, so it does need to be pruned in the spring. Other than that, it's pretty much a no-brainer.
This plant is about 12 feet tall, but there are dozens of cultivars, so different sizes, shapes and colors are available, including white, pink, blue and deeper purple.
Readers, please send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you.... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.
PLANTIDOTE GROUP FORMING: Want to help gather images and take Plantidote of the Day to the next level? Of course you do! Just click the Join Groups menu item and sign up!
Click on the image for the full-size version. Click here to see the entire series.