Scientific Name: Buddleja davidii
Common Name: Butterfly Bush
Common Species/Varieties: Blue Chip, Miss Pearl, Purple Haze
Common Colors: Purple, Pink, White, Blue, Orange
Plant Type: Shrub
Annual or Perennial: Perennial
Hardiness Zone: mostly 5-9 USDA, so up to zone 10
Bloom Season: Spring and Summer
Grows Best In: Full sun to partial shade
Fun Fact: Blooms smell like honey!
Butterfly Bush is a favorite of pollinators. Its flowers grow in a shape similar to that of lilac, and many pollinators, including butterflies, love to visit the tightly grouped heads of tiny flowers. Butterfly bush should not be planted in soggy soil, or with plants that require heavy watering (like hydrangea) because they are susceptible to root rot. A single Butterfly Bush shrub can grow to be between 6 and 12 feet tall, and can spread to widths between 5 and 15 feet.
Looking for a plant that will not be of interest to hungry deer? This is the plant for you! Just check with your local plant officials because in some places, Butterfly Bush can be invasive (mostly in the Pacific Northwest). But on the plus side, Butterfly Bush can be drought tolerant once established, so it’s a good option for xeriscaping.
While best known for attracting Swallowtail Butterflies, Butterfly Bush will also bring bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators to your space. Butterfly Bush has been said to represent rebirth, resurrection, and new beginnings. Other plants in the same Buddleja family (there are over 100!) have been used in Chinese medicine (it originates in China) to treat things from eye problems to hernias. (Reminder – never use a plant product internally without first consulting an expert and physician!)