Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)


Common names:

butterfly bush, summer lilac, orange eye, Buddleja

Scientific Name:

Buddleja davidii


Butterfly bush is a deciduous shrub with arching branches that can reach 15 feet in height. The showy flower spikes are often purple, and the leaves and stems are typically hairy. Flowers have 4 petals and are commonly purple with an orange center, but cultivars can be pink, orange, and white. Flower spikes are upright or nodding, reaching a length between 4 to 10 inches. They are fragrant and blooming begins in mid-summer.

Life cycle:


Height of mature plants

Up to 15 feet

Flower color:

Commonly purple with an orange center, but cultivars can be pink, orange, and white.

Bloom time:

Typically blooming July through September.


Butterfly bush appears similar to lilac but blooms much later (late summer) than lilac.


While often planted in yards and gardens as an ornamental, butterfly bush can colonize disturbed areas including roadsides, abandoned railroad tracks, pastures, riverbanks, and recently logged forests.


It forms dense thickets, especially along river banks and gravel bars, which crowd out native plants and may alter soil nutrient concentrations. This shrub is difficult to control, can produce seeds during its first year and seeds are viable 3 to 5 years.

Noxious Weed Listing:




Oregon Noxious Weed Profile
Washington Noxious Weed Profile
Invasive.org profile
CABI Invasive Species Compendium


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