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Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii


The butterfly bush, or buddleja bush, is a shrub that has been introduced into the UK from Asia. Has many small flowers that grow in dense, long clusters, usually purple (picture 2) but other colour variants exist, like white (picture 1). While it attracts many adult butterflies (especially red admirals and painted ladies, in my experience) it's actually on the whole not good for butterflies as a whole as the plant shades many caterpillar food plants.


Grows mainly in lowland areas, prefers dry and disturbed ground (so good at colonising areas other plants might not). These pictures were taken in a dry, scrubby area of a meadow in Colchester.


There are many Buddleja bushes around where I live, and they are a good place to see not only butterflies, but bees and hoverflies too. They used to be widely cultivated in the UK, and that is how they were introduced (as is the case with most introduced plants).

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LauraMaria 11 years ago

Sorry Elizabeth, my bad. This is why you shouldn't add spottings late at night! I know the butterfly bush isn't native the UK, I even put it in my Invasive Species mission - whoops! I'll take it out of your mission.

Elizabeth Colley
Elizabeth Colley 11 years ago

Thank you for adding your spotting to the 'Wildflowers of the UK' mission. but I am afraid I cannot accept your entry. In accordance with the specified criteria laid out for this mission (in overview), all wildflowers spotted must be native species' (naturally occurring in the UK) and not 'introduced species' (not naturally occurring in the UK) -

Buddleja davidii is native to central China and Japan, being an introduced species to the UK and as such, cannot be part of this mission. I hope you understand, and respectfully ask you to remove it from the mission. Please feel free to submit any native species you may have.

Spotted by

Borough of Colchester, England, United Kingdom

Spotted on Aug 8, 2012
Submitted on Sep 18, 2012

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