It produces lots of small, light seeds, which spread extremely easily. Quite flexible quadrangular branches. by Ecosystem Gardener | Dec 31, 2020 | Invasive Plants. Butterfly Bush is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 15 feet high. Instead of planting Butterfly Bush, select a native flowering shrub appropriate for your site that is attractive to pollinators. Invasive Concerns. It establishes in sunny, well-drained sites including fields, roadsides, woods edges, and riverbanks, where native shrubs would have grown. The generic name bestowed by Linnaeus posthumously honoured the Reverend Adam Buddle (1662–1715), an English botanist and rector , at the suggestion of Dr. William Houstoun . I hate to throw away plants, so I have transplanted a few of these renegades, and they always survive with minimal attention. For wetter soils, try Buttonbush (Cephalanthis occidentalis)—a food source for moths—or New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus). Butterfly Bush (Buddleja [or Buddleia] davidii) is a surefire attention-grabber. They devoted their entire Summer 2012 issue of Butterfly Gardener to “The Great Butterfly Bush Debate,” which showcased the two opposing sides about Butterfly Bush. Yes, butterflies do feed on the nectar of butterfly bushes but that’s where the attraction ends. Areas around the removal site should be planted with a native ground cover to prevent future seedling germination. Another post said that Saline, MI has banned Buddleia. Do not dump clippings or flowerheads in natural areas or compost piles. The bright purple flowers are borne on dense clusters 3-4 inches round and almost 8 inches long. The first lesson in what NOT to plant, Response to: What’s Invasive? Varieties bred for the garden are typically purple; or they may have pink, blue, magenta, yellow or maroon blooms. One article was written by Mary Anne Borge, a New Jersey naturalist: It’s not that Butterflybush is inherently a bad plant. However, butterflies need host plants on which to lay eggs and on which their caterpillars feed. Click here to find more ideas for butterfly plantings. It’s sad and shameful that organizations dedicated to the protection of butterflies, especially the Monarch, are spreading information that is ultimately harmful to our wild areas when there are so many better alternatives. This is always a potential danger when a species is introduced in an environment in which it is not native, where its food web partners are missing. Buddleia (Buddleja davidii) is an invasive plant that is found throughout the United Kingdom, often seen growing alongside railway lines, urban wasteland and road verges. But did you know that Butterfly Bush is a highly invasive plant and is destroying native butterfly and wildlife habitat? My sense of justice is offended by Americans who eat predominantly non-native foods, but would refuse that same pleasure to butterflies. The ecological impact of buddleia – is it really beneficial to wildlife; The biology of bamboo and how all bamboos can be invasive to some extent; Points of concern regarding bamboo in the built environment and domestic garden; Should contractors, clients, the media and legislators be taking buddleia and especially bamboo more seriously?. Butterfly bush Buddleia davidii For sunny, open garden or landscape plantings, try Sweet Pepperbush, also called Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) or Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica). var. A single milkweed pod thrown into the middle of my perennial somewhat undisciplined garden several years ago has now resulted in a plethora of milkweed and an increasing population of milkweed loving larvae! Why wouldn’t we work to save, restore, or create more habitat for ALL butterflies? Adorned with an orange eye, the flowers are freely produced from mid summer through early fall and sometimes to first frost. Buddleja spreads by seed, so if the flowers are deadheaded just as they start to wither, there will be no volunteers. Frankly if it thrives in disturbed industrial sites I don't see a big problem, but I sure am not seeing it along stream beds or really anywhere else. Invasive Species Spotlight: The Truth About Butterfly Bush. If Butterfly Bush were just a pretty garden shrub, it would be less of a concern. Our experts have made many mistakes over the years, at some points recommending the planting of multiflora rose, crown vetch, russian olive, and so many other plants that, despite their best intentions, have gotten out of control and are now costing millions of dollars every year to try to control. Favorites of butterflies include Blazing Star (Liatris); Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea); Giant Hyssop (Agastache); Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium) species and Milkweed (Asclepias) species. New England Aster is gorgeous planted alongside your Goldenrod, and you’ll spend many happy hours watching all the pollinators who come to visit. Foliage The leaves are opposite, 6-10 in. I have worked for almost 30 years teaching people to garden sustainably, conserve natural resources and create welcoming habitat for wildlife in their gardens so that they will attract more birds, butterflies, native bees, and other wildlife to their gardens. I will NOT remove mine. Without caterpillars, birds will not survive. They are a great addition to my garden and a benefit to the insects and birds. With nearly 40 new “invasives” and “alternatives” included, this guide remains a fixture for invasive-free gardening across Ontario. Buddleja (orth. The roots must be removed or they will re-sprout. It is my most sincere wish that MonarchWatch and other similar conservation organizations would be very careful and much more thoughtful about the plants they recommend. Spreading rapidly by wind-born seed, the butterfly bush displaces native vegetation in disturbed, open areas and along coastal forest edges, roadsides, and … You simply enter your zip code and you’re directed to one of the 31 ecotype-specific Pollinator Friendly Planting Guides, and in there you’ll find a calendar of native plants appropriate for your region so that you can have year round value to butterflies and other wildlife. Seeds can be carried long distances and proliferate in open areas like roadways, waterways and pastures. Buddleia is not native to North America; butterfly bush is an exotic plant from Asia. It would be so much more helpful if the good folks at MonarchWatch took some time to update this page. In Why You Shouldn’t Plant Butterfly Bush, Debbie Hadley talks about the many harmful impacts this plant is having on our environment. Yes, butterflies DO come to nectar and butterfly bush, but this plant is not a larval host plant for ANY butterfly species. Your butterflies will thank you! You must dispose of any plant material completely, by burning or putting out in the garbage. Butterfly bush is an invasive plant, meaning it crowds out … I have been very consistent in removing spent blossoms, but there always seem to be escapee seeds that sprout in the spring in seemingly inhospitable locations like the very edge of a driveway or between beach rocks in a path. Dr. Thomas Barnes of Kentucky Native Plants has a great article dispelling the myths and misinformation about the invasive nature of Butterfly Bush. My suggestion is that they model their plant recommendations after the excellent resources at The Pollinator Partnership. Branches left on the ground can root into new shrubs. Buddleia davidiiis listed as an invasive plant by the City of West Vancouver. Which will of course still need to be pruned: a garden is a managed environment after all. Buddleia is a popular garden plant that was introduced into the UK from China in the 1890s and has now become widely naturalised on waste ground, along railway cuttings and in urban areas. where Buddleia has become a problem it should be controlled in the same way as other invasive plants (e.g. We all know the Monarch butterfly population is well below normal this year, and this is a big concern to all of us. Photo by Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org, 1 Hoffman's Mill RoadP.O. If you live in an area where Buddleia davidii isn’t a problem, it may just be a matter of time before it becomes an invasive plant there too. To address invasive plant problems, the city is now offering technical assistance with eradication techniques and will help with disposal (roadside pick up for projects). I’m sure you’ve all read books about butterfly gardening, and almost every one of them recommends Butterfly Bush (Budleia spp). Maintenance Notes: Get all the details you need to grow butterfly bush … This is a plant from Asia, and now it’s spreading out of control along stream banks and other areas all over the country. Or any of these other states in the middle of this map? Yes, they do. How long do you really think we have until Butterfly Bush is listed as invasive in Wisconsin? You can also plant drifts of tall native perennials. A common sight in our region’s gardens and landscape plantings, its fragrant conical blooms—typically festooned with fluttering butterflies and buzzing bees—are hard to miss. Many plants have managed to escape gardens and colonise open ground and can self-sow on waste ground and old masonry. Buddleia is native to China and Japan and was introduced to the UK at the end of the 19th century as an ornamental garden plant. It’s perfect for growing at the front of a border, or in containers. A single flower cluster of Buddleia davidii 'Potter's Purple' can make up to 40,000 seeds! The MonarchWatch recommended nectar planting list is kind of a sad and useless joke with no scientific names, no disclaimers about Butterfly Bush, and no specifics about regional differences. My yard is full of pollinator friendly plants, including three butterfly bushes that I planted, and a number that are a result of self-seeding. What accounts for these opposing views? This article is a reminder that I need to keep some control of what I have sown! Without caterpillars, there will be no adult butterflies. The Buddleja genus originated in central China and migrated across Asia and to the Americas, evolving into over 140 species as it spread. Funny because I have NEVER seen buddleia in the wild anywhere in the great lakes region. Although grazing alone cannot entirely eradicate the weed, in tandem with another method—such as manual removal—they can be a successful control. The wild species Buddleia davidii spreads rapidly, invading riverbanks, reforested areas, and open fields. It’s not really helpful at all because the best nectar plants for butterflies will depend completely on where you live. These seeds can remain viable for three to five years in soil, and any cut stems can sprout again. Butterfly Bush Doesn't Stay In Your Yard. It is naturalized in Australia and in most cities of central and southern Europe, where it can spread on open lands and in gardens. It attracts lots of bees and butterflies, but I have not seen any other butterfly bushes in my garden. I would happily become a big fan and supporter of this otherwise worthy organization if this were to happen. Flowers Flowering occurs from May to August, when dense clusters of tubular flowers develop. It is a relatively easy plant to control by cutting, so is in a different category to other invasive plants that are very difficult to control (e.g. Seedlings can be manually removed. Some people spell it Buddleia, but most go with the Buddleja spelling — but it looks really silly. In Detail Buddleja or as it is often spelt Buddleia is often referred to as the Butterfly bush because, as the name suggests of its attractiveness to butterflies. This is cited as explaining their diametrically opposed opinions. native and non-native scrub), by cutting and/or spraying. If you can commit to religious deadheading, the butterflies and many other pollinators will thank you. Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes in recommending invasive plants. If not, look for another plant choice. Those vanished native shrubs were essential food sources for caterpillars. But educating the educators may now need to become my primary mission. The shrub reaches maturity quite quickly, often producing extremely lightweight, winged seeds within the first year of growth, which travel far distances by way of water or wind. Goldenrod as a larval host plant, and many species of insects also use parts of this plant for shelter and food. Since its introduction to the United Kingdom from China in the late 1800s, B. davidii has become an important component in horticulture and human culture. I’d be even more thrilled if they would start recommending native plants as more beneficial alternatives. Click here to find more ideas for butterfly plantings. The foliage is semi-erect to falling. Once you know which butterflies are likely to visit your garden, you can start making of a list of appropriate plants to entice them into making your garden their home. It is a much favoured popular species for garden plant. The real key to having more butterflies in your garden is to find out which of the more than 700 species of butterflies in North America are common to your region. Buddleja davidii, commonly called butterfly bush, is a deciduous shrub that is native to thickets on mountain slopes, limestone outcrops, forest clearings and rocky stream banks in China. Please note that the butterfly bush, originally imported from China, has been classified as an invasive species in most U.S. regions. It can grow in … Which have not multiplied anywhere on my property or down my road. It's worth noting, however, that the Butterfly Bush is considered an invasive species and can grow out of control rapidly if the right measures aren't taken. The opposite-growing leaves, 5-10 inches long, have jagged edges. I wish it would multiply - it attracts so many butterflies and bees! B. davidii, the most commonly cultivated species in our region, is a native of China. The supposition is that New Jersey is "where Butterfly Bush is running rampant" while "Butterfly Bush has not yet become invasive" in Kansas. It is native to China, not North America, Europe or New Zealand. If a wildlife garden has a wide variety of native plants you’ll begin to discover that the butterflies actually prefer the natives and won’t even bother going to the butterfly bush. Box 141Chadds Ford, PA 19317610.388.2700, The Brandywine Conservancy is a program of The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, By: The wild-origin species is white-flowered with orange or yellow centers. Butterfly on a Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). If you already have Butterfly Bush as a planting, and do not want to remove it, you should prevent the spread out of your garden by removing old flowerheads in the fall prior to seed dispersal. Conservation organizations have a duty and responsibility to give the best information to their audiences. If you are trying to attract more butterflies to your garden, the first thing you need to understand is that more butterfly bushes do not mean more butterflies. I live in central PA and I have never seen a butterfly bush in the wild, and I get around a fair bit. Mary Anne lives in New Jersey, where Butterfly Bush is running rampant along stream banks and other natural areas and is a huge problem and concern for environmentalists. In reality, how many home gardeners are actually going to spend the time to remove every one of the multitude of flower heads every week or so? Flowers form drooping or upright spikes at the end of branches. But its high reproductive success and dispersal means that Butterfly Bush replaces native shrubs outside the garden, in natural areas. Do you have the resolve and discipline? Some states banned the sale of Buddleia and listed it as a noxious, invasive weed. Butterfly Bush can be difficult to manage once it has been established. Grow Me Instead (GMI) The Grow Me Instead (Southern Ontario) guide, 3 rd Edition, is now available online!This release marks the most notable update of this popular guide since its initial release in 2010. Identification, … Each region of the country is very different, and there are many native plants that will work well in one ecotype and not in others. If you simply must have a Butterfly Bush, these varieties may be an option, but keep in mind that they don’t provide butterflies with the hosting benefits of native flowering shrubs. Unfortunately, the Butterfly bush has escaped cultivation in southern BC and is now considered an invasive species. Buddleja davidii ‘Summer Beauty’ – a small variety, with deep pink flowers and narrow, green-grey leaves. There have been recent introductions to the garden markets of purportedly non-invasive Butterfly Bush. And history is replete with plants touted as non-invasive that turned out to be just the opposite (case in point: multiflora rose). Butterfly Bush (Buddleja [or Buddleia] davidii) is a surefire attention-grabber. Buddleja davidii has been classified as an invasive species in many countries in temperate regions, including the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Although eye-catching, hardy, and seemingly helpful to butterflies and other pollinators, Butterfly Bush is far from beneficial; in fact it’s actually an invasive species that can impair the health of our local ecosystems. By replacing native larval food source plants butterflybush can have a negative impact on wildlife. However, certain cultivars are considered invasive, so it's important to make sure you plant the appropriate type for your region." Its familiar purple flowers bloom from June to October and attract all kinds … I’d love to see the organizations that continue to promote it at the very least do it with a disclaimer about potential problems. And they also are not aware that there are MUCH better native alternatives to the invasive butterfly bush. Ecologists deemed the shrub a threat to native ecosystems, as butterfly bush seeds escaped backyard gardens and invaded forests and meadows. Why take a chance when there are so many better choices in native plants that butterflies will flock to that are much healthier for butterflies and also for our fragile ecosystems? The germination rate is about 80 percent or above. Butterfly Bush is extremely successful at reproduction, giving it a competitive advantage over native flowering shrubs. "Buddleia is a very durable plant that tolerates less than ideal conditions," gardening expert Melinda Myers explains. So forget about wasting your time trying to deadhead your butterfly bush at this time of year, and instead plant some of these native plants. I live in NC. The species Buddleia davidii produces copious seeds that sprout easily and are invasive. Or Iowa? By the way, any of you out there yelling and screaming that I shouldn’t be promoting an invasive … Lillia Schmidt, Land Stewardship Intern, and Susan Charkes, Easement Steward, Invasive Species Spotlight: The Truth About Butterfly Bush. Buddleia Mint Group _ Buddleia Mint Group is a vigorous, creeping perennial with hairy stems bearing aromatic, elliptic to oblong, toothed, silvery grey-green leaves and dense spikes of whorled, tubular, white or lilac flowers in summer. Lenora lives in Kansas, where Butterfly Bush has not yet become invasive, so it’s no big deal to her, but she at least makes an appropriate disclaimer: Gardeners in at-risk states do not need to deny butterflies their favorite adult beverage. 112 species of butterflies and moths use the Asters as larval host plants, in addition to providing abundant nectar. However, if you deadhead butterfly bush meticulously before it goes to seed you may be able to halt the spread. Buddleja davidii is a shrub between 1 and 5m in height with widely spreading branches. Header image: Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) in flower (surrounded by native wildlfowers). 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