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A picture of a Butterfly bush

Butterfly bush

Buddleja davidii

Also known as

Summer lilac, Orange eye

Buddleja Davidii and insect by Peter Clarke (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Butterfly bush

A close up of some purple Buddleja davidii flowers
A photo of Butterfly bush
A photo of Butterfly bush
A photo of Butterfly bush
A photo of Butterfly bush

Butterfly bush Overview

Buddleja davidii is also known as the Butterfly Bush and Summer Lilac, amongst other names. Native to China and Japan, it is a deciduous, erect, bushy shrub and one of the most popular Buddleja species, grown for its long, dense panicles of small, tubular, scented flowers all over the world. Its soft, pointed, mid-green to silver-grey leaves are borne on arching branches. Its eye-catching inflorescences appear in late summer to autumn, are lilac to purple in colour, often with orange eyes in the centre. It is particularly attractive to butterflies and other pollinating insects. Buddleja davidii can cope with an exposed or sheltered position, full sun or partial shade and it likes moist, well-drained soil. It is hardy down to -15C to -20C. Its flowers appear on new wood and so it can be given a hard prune in spring. Buddleja davidii's sweet fragrance and wildlife-friendly flowers make it a popular garden plant that is suitable for wall-side borders, urban and courtyard gardens, as well as Mediterranean planting schemes. It seeds freely, so when you see a 'guerilla' Buddleja growing out of a crack in a wall or a chimney, it is probably a davidii! There are many cultivars available, many of which have earned an RHS Garden of Merit Award and/or an RHS 'Plants for Pollinators' badge. Buddleja or Buddleia is a great plant for wildlife and colour.

Common problems with Butterfly bush


How to propagate Butterfly bush


Semi-ripe cuttings taken in Summer or hardwood cuttings taken in Autumn.


Special features of Butterfly bush

Attracts butterflies

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Attracts useful insects

Hedge plant

Other uses of Butterfly bush

Banks, hedging, specimen, ornamental, fragrance, border, cutting bed, container. Suitable for coastal conditions.

Summer Flowering Shrubs

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