Buddleja L.

Commemorating Rev. Adam Buddle (c. 1660–1715), English botanist and Rector of North Fambridge, Essex, UK.

Mostly fast growing evergreen or deciduous trees and shrubs, occasionally herbs or climbers, mostly with star-shaped hairs. Leaves mostly opposite, entire or toothed, occasionally lobed, the bases of opposite leaves connected by a membrane. Flowers in branched clusters or occasionally in heads, usually white, orange or purplish, often with orange throats. Calyx with 4 lobes. Corolla mostly platter- to bell-shaped, a cylindrical tube with 4 spreading lobes. Stamens 4. Ovary 2-chambered, containing numerous ovules; style simple. Fruit a capsule mostly dehiscent, occasionally fleshy and indehiscent. [Buddleia]

With species from a diverse ecological background, Buddleja is grown under a range of conditions and situations for the profusion of long-lasting, fragrant, honey-rich flowers attractive to butterflies and bees. A few species have shown a tendency to naturalise. Linnaeus originally spelled the name with a 'j' and this is the spelling adopted in most recent texts. However, the spelling variant Buddleia is still occasionally used. The following species are occasionally cultivated: B. alternifolia Maxim., Fountain Buddleja, from China, a substantial deciduous shrub to over 5 m tall with dense purple flower clusters in summer on the old wood - it is easily distinguished as it is one of the few species in the genus with alternate leaves; B. asiatica Lour. from E Indies, an evergreen plant with white flowers from winter to spring - the cultivars 'Spring Promise' and  'Sweet Promise' PVJ 8(4)39 are listed; B. auriculata Benth. from S Africa, an evergreen shrub with white highly fragrant flowers; B. colvilei Hook. F. & Thoms. from the Himalaya, which has reddish purple flowers but can be easily distinguished because all parts have red woolly hair at first; B. fallowiana Balf. F. & W.W. Sm. from China, which is deciduous, flowers lavender or white, about 1 cm long, and pointed calyx lobes that are longer than wide; B. indica Lam., Indoor Oak, from Madagascar, grown as an evergreen indoor plant for its trailing habit and roundish to narrow, wavy-edged leaves and white to green or yellow flowers [Nicodemia diversifolia Ten.]; B. lindleyana Lindl. from China, which has short, open clusters of purple-violet flowers with long tubes 1-2 cm long; B. madagascariensis Lam. from Madagascar, generally grown as an evergreen climber with orange-yellow spring flowers, but unfortunately naturalised in WA, SA, NSW and Qld; B. pulchella N.E. Br., a winter- to spring-flowering evergreen shrub from S and E Africa, often climbing, flowers white with orange-red throat; B. salviifolia L., South African Sagewood, very similar to B. davidii but more or less evergreen and with wrinkled sage-like (Salvia officinalis) leaves, the flowers lilac or white with an orange eye in autumn to winter; B. ×weyeriana Weyer, a hybrid cross of B. davidii var. magnifica × B. globosa (seed parent) produced in 1914 by Mr Van de Weyer at Corfe Castle, Dorset, UK, with yellowish to orange branched flower clusters and consisting of several ball-like heads. The cultivar 'Golden Glow' has flowers orange and yellow, suffused with pink and mauve. 'Apricot Peach' and 'Orange Glow' are also listed.

Semi-hardwood or hardwood cuttings.

B. asiatica Lour. has been used as a fish poison, other species are used as local medicines (e.g. B. globosa) and a few as a source of timber (e.g. B. salviifolia).

Star-shaped hairs; calyx and corolla 4-parted; style simple.

About 90 species, mostly from tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, America and especially E Asia.

Norman (1967), Maunder (1987).

The range of hybrids, cultivars and availability of species would make a key impractical. A key with excellent flower illustrations is given in Huxley's New RHS Dictionary (1992).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Loganiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Cultivars of hybrid or uncertain parentage

Buddleja 'Dartmoor'

Flowers magenta.

A possible hybrid. Known since 1971 in the UK.

Buddleja 'Lochinch'

Hairy plant with mauve-blue flowers.

A hybrid B. fallowiana and ?B. davidii raised at Lochinch, Wigtown, Scotland and introduced 1959.

Buddleja 'Pink Delight'

Flowers pink.

Buddleja 'Wattle Bird'

PVJ 8(4)39

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Scrophulariaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Buddleja davidii Franch.
species         Buddleja globosa Hope