Buddleia is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in waste ground and urban settings, to a mature height of up to 400cm.
Introduced to the UK in the late nineteeth century from China as garden shrub, Buddleia is now well-established in the wild, especially near towns and cities. Its seed is dispersed by wind and it has spread rapidly over long-distance along railway tracks.
Botanic classification and naming: Buddleia is a member of the Figwort (Scrophulariaceae) family. The genus name
'Buddleja' identifies the plant as a Butterfly Bush and its species name 'davidii' means 'named after Chinese missionary'.
Concerns: Buddleia is able to colonise fresh ground and grow rapidly, adapt to a wide range of conditions and produce lots of seed. It is thereby able to spread quickly and out-compete native plants.
Benefits: Known as the 'butterfly bush', Buddleja produces large amounts of nectar and attracts a wide range of butterfly species, including the Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral. It also provides nectar at night-time for nocturnal moths and caterpillars of eleven species feed on its leaves or flowers. Buddleja's insect visitors in turn attract insect-eating birds and bats.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.