Buddleia (or Buddleja) is a genus of about140 species in the family Scrophulariaceae, native to Asia, Africa and the Americas. Most of the species are deciduous or evergreen shrubs, but a few species are trees.
Buddleia, also known as “Butterfly Bush”, produces striking flower spikes which come in a fine mixture of colors. Each flower is small, tubular and contains four petals. Buddleia is one of the most beautiful and easiest flowers to care for. These beauties are grown for their fragrant flowers which attract many different types of butterflies throughout the growing season.
The genus was named in honor of Adam Buddle (1662–1715), a botanist from England who was responsible for introducing it into England.
The common name “Butterfly Bush” was given because the flowers are very attractive to butterflies.
Buddleia represents rebirth, resurrection and new beginning.
Interesting facts about Buddleia:
Is Buddleia Invasive?
Although not invasive everywhere, Buddleia is considered an invasive plant.
It is a plant that grows quickly and spreads easily. Buddleia is easy to grow, but sometimes hard to get rid of. Once established, it will reduce or eliminate competing vegetation.
Each year a mature plant can produce up to 3 million seeds. However, many new cultivars are seedless and unlikely to reproduce.
Buddleia and Butterflies
As its name suggests, the Butterfly Bush is a magnet for all the butterflies who pass through your garden. Butterflies are in love with this plant because it produces nectar that has a higher level of sucrose, glucose and fructose than many other plants.
Besides, the plant will attract hummingbirds, bees and insects.
Benefits and Uses
Buddleia officinalis and Buddleia asiaticum are used in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine. In Chinese, the Buddleia flower is called “Mi Meng Hua” and is considered as a traditional Chinese medicinal herb.
The species are used to treat eye problems, muscle spasms, bladder problems, headache, gonorrhoea, hepatitis and hernias.
The flowers come in shades of purple, blue, white, pink or red.
The plant can grow between 30 cm (1 ft) and 5 metres (16 ft) high, depending on species.
Buddleia will grow in almost any soil, but will perform best in moist and well drained soil, with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.