Butterfly bush Buddleja Sommerflieder

Butterfly bush is a classic summer flowering shrub, native to China but has been imported to North America
and Europe since about 1900 for use as a garden shrub.
 Butterfly bush is a deciduous, often lanky and wide-spreading shrub 1-4 m tall. Butterfly bu
sh grows in a wide range of habitats, including relatively moist to dry disturbed areas all over the world. Butterfly bush prefers moderate nutrient soils but is also highly tolerant of calcium rich soils.  Buddleja sets seed during the fall months.

 The cultivar offers a wide diversity in flower color, leaf color and texture, and plant size. Culture is easy for butterfly bush. Showy flowers grow in long, spike-shaped clusters.
Buddleja davidii do not require lots attention and care and is Adaptable to gardens as far north as Scottland and as far south as Itali. Once established, this plant thrives on full sun, is very drought tolerant and forms thick monocultures and displaces native willows, which are essential hosts for native butterflies.buddleja
 Buddleja cultivar start flowering in June and continue flowering until late fall. The individual flowers are small, they are clustered together in large nodding panicles. The trumpet-shaped flower is purple, with a yellow to orange eye. Cultivars can bear flowers ranging from white to many shades of pink, lavender blue, purple, red and nearly black. Leaves are egg-shaped to lance-shaped and up to 40 cm long. They are green above and grey and woolly below. Leaves tend to hold until a hard freeze is coming. You can be quite aggressive with your pruning in the sp
ring. Butterfly bush does not reproduce vegetatively by underground parts, new plants can easily grow from cuttings. Because flowers are born on new wood, you will always have a nice flower display in the summer. Fruits are sharply pointed, two segmented capsules 5-9 mm long, with many seeds.
Butterfly bush is a prolific seed producer and a single flower cluster of some varieties can produce over 10,000 viable seeds after one year, allowing it to spread quickly, dispersed by wind and water. Buddleja seeds may remain dormant in the soil for many years. Butterfly bush does not yet pose a serious problem,
but it is spreading rapidly. The cultivar escaped cultivation in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Europe and North America, including the eastern seaboard and Pacific Northwest. The bush has been placed on the noxious weed lists. The range and invasiveness of butterfly bush may increase as a result of global warming.

My attention as breeder is to introduce sterile or fruitless selections, because the bush is frequently found colonizing disturbed sites. 

The genus name Buddleia Davidii may be found spelled in several ways. Some spell the first  name with j Buddleja, others spell it with an i Buddleia. The first part of the scientific name honours an English bot
anist, Adam Buddle (1660-1715). The second part honours Pere Armand David (1826-1900), a French Jesuit missionary and keennaturalist.

The new Buddleia ´4my Baby´ is a product of a planned breeding program. The cuiltivar  ´4my Baby´, a hybrid of Buddleja davidii and Buddleja globosa, was selected by me in 2009 for his attractive,  fragrant flowers and is a ornamental shrub for home and commercial landscapes. One of the objectives of the breeding program was to develop a sterile plan because of the invasiveness. The best cultural requirements for ´4my Baby´ are

well-drained soil, full sun, and moderate moisture.

´4my Baby´ exhibits no serious disease problems known to me.


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Georg Merkl, Am Kutschersberg 26, 74235 Erlenbach, West Germany