When timed right, buddleia are a magnet for late summer butterflies and we have a fabulous selection of Buzz patio buddleia on the Nursery just bursting into colour and attracting a lot of attention. It is interesting to note that whilst visited by numerous colourful butterflies during the day, come the evening and darkness the visitors to our buddleia change to moths of various sizes and colours. A torchlight safari around your Buddleia bushes will reveal moths such as the Silver-Y, Willow Beauty, Mother of Pearl and Brimstone.
In the UK somewhere near to half of the butterflies are under threat of extinction, and more than 70% are in decline, we can help turn this process around by planting more Buddleia. Buddleia is called the “Butterfly Bush” for a very good reason, it acts like a magnet to butterflies, they just love Buddleia because of the nectar, and nectar is the butterflies primary food source that gives them the energy to survive and reproduce. Buddleia produces nectar that has a higher content of sucrose, glucose, and fructose than many other garden flowers, in particular Buddleia generally has a higher sucrose level (two or three times higher than fructose or glucose) and that is what attracts butterflies, however Buddleia do not produce much nectar, which is why we see butterflies spending so much time on a particular plant.
Where did the name Buddleia come from? A seventeenth-century amateur botanist named Reverend Adam Buddle was honoured posthumously, when the first butterfly bush reached England in 1774, Buddleia globosa, from Chile. Its unfamiliar name prompted one nursery tradesman to call it the ” Buddlebush.” Fortunately, the name didn’t stick! Most of today’s offerings have Chinese ancestors. From China came seeds of Buddleia davidii, the hardy species that is most familiar to gardeners. Named after a French Jesuit missionary, Pere Armand David, B. davidii reached London’s Kew Gardens in 1896.
Alongside the single colours we have some tri-colour buddleia bushes. It could be called cheating, but these are actually three separate colours planted into the same pot to produce an explosion of colour. They mix beautifully to create a natural mix in combinations of pretty pinks, deep purples, and brilliant white flower spikes.