You Say Buddleia; Some Say Buddleja; We ALL
GREAT BUTTERFLY PLANT
Charles Bartlett wrote on December 10,
I was very interested in your Sunday discussion of the new Buddleia
which your team will offer for sale in 2007. I had first seen
this evergreen Buddleia (Buddleia lindleyana) about 25 years ago
in North Carolina, but had forgotten all about it and lost track
of this shrub until recently. Several months ago, we began the
re-landscaping of the old 41 acre property formerly owned by landscape
architect Jim Keeter just south of Boerne, Texas on Scenic Loop
Road. This Buddleia is growing (obviously planted by Jim) in areas
around his home. The area is heavily wooded with mostly native
species, quite shady, and home to herds of whitetail and Axis
deer. The plantings seem to have been abandoned for many years
(I'd say at least the last 10 years) and able to withstand acute
drought and dense shade as well as full sun. Likewise, the deer
seem to bypass this shrub, and it resists winter defoliation due
One of the best descriptions of this plant is found in Volume
2, The Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern and Southwestern
United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico. Authors
are Scooter Cheatham and Marshall C. Johnston with Lynn Marshall.
From Volume 2, I quote: "Buddleia lindleyana Fort. (butterfly
bush) is a native of China, but has been cultivated extensively
in the southern United States, where it has escaped and naturalized
in cultivated ground and along roadsides in the Coastal Plain
from southeastern Texas east to Florida and Georgia. This is a
diffusely branched shrub to 2 meters (6.6 feet) tall, with four-angled
branches. The glabrous leaves, up to 1 dm (4 inches) long, are
ovate to lanceolate, acuminate, and entire to remotely denticulate.
The flowers are in upright and rather dense spikes up to 2 dm
(8 inches) long. The corolla is purplish to violet or reddish
and about 15 mm (0.6 inch) long, the tube being slightly curved.
The seed capsules are 4-5 mm (0.16-0.2 inch) long. It flowers
summer through fall. The species is presumably named after John
Lindley (1799-1865), a professor of botany in London and editor
of Edward's Botanical Register. Synonym: Adenoplea lindleyana
Volume 2 indicates that the shrub is also extensively found in
both North and South Carolina as well as Florida and Louisiana.
Due to the extreme drought resistance of this shrub, it's obvious
deer resistance, evergreen nature, almost constant blooming period
(it's blooming now in December), insect and disease resistance
shown by the plants in Boerne, and ability to take care if itself,
I believe that this will be an outstanding 'new' plant introduction
in Central Texas. It might also be enjoyed by gardeners as far
North as Dallas as shown by its cold tolerance in the inland,
highland areas of North and South Carolina. In the rocky soils
of Boerne, the tendency to sucker is not very obvious, but even
so, I believe that the good points of this shrub far outweigh
the negative aspect (suckering). It also seems to be extremely
easy to transplant (even bare root in the midst of summer) and
easy to root as cuttings.
The actual correct spelling of the name is in dispute. I wrote
Greg Grant for his opinion. Greg replies: Technically Buddleja,
There has been controversy over the spelling of this genus for
hundreds of years. Many horticulturists, including L. H. Bailey,
spell the genus: Buddleia. The International Code of Botanical
Nomenclature uses this spelling: Buddleja.
The name has been the source of some confusion. By the usual practice
of botanical Latin, the spelling of a genus name made from "Buddle"
would be "Buddleia". However, Linnaeus wrote it down
as "Buddleja", and never changed it, so by the rule
of naming priority, "Buddleja" should be preferred,
though the i/j interchange could be modernized as an orthographical
variant. Even so, the usage is confused, and inconsistencies are
common, even within single texts.
Buddleja, also often spelled Buddleia, is a genus of flowering
plants. It is now included in the Scrophulariaceae, though in
the past was previously classified in either the Loganiaceae or
in a family of its own, the Buddlejaceae. The plant was named
after the Reverend Adam Buddle who was a botanist and a rector
in Essex, England.
During a recent discussion of the B. lindleyana, you mentioned
that the cuttings you are growing came from a specimen in Seguin
which may have flower clusters longer than 5 inches. If that is
the case, we may be in great luck!
Today (23 January 2007), I measured flower clusters from the old
specimen I know which is growing outside of Boerne. The flower
clusters on that group of plants are 5" or less in length,
and a beautiful shade of light, lavender purple. However, there
is an 'improved' selection of B. lindleyana which has flower clusters
which are longer than 5", and more impressive than the plant
I know of in Boerne. The improved form is known as B. lindleyana
'Gloster'. I have tried to buy that plant in Texas, but it seems
to have essentially disappeared from the nursery trade, and is
in extremely short supply nationwide. If the specimen in Seguin
happens to be 'Gloster', that will be a stroke of luck. Let's
watch your specimens and see how big the flower clusters will
be when well grown. I am very excited about the prospects of your
cutting grown plants.
Charles M. Bartlett
Something I came across while looking up something else. Thought
like to see.
BUDDLEJA: "The spelling 'Buddleia' is often seen for this
genus (named after
seventeenth-century English botanist Adam Buddle), but BUDDLEJA
is now ruled
the correct form. The genus consists of shrubs and small, mostly
trees, both evergreen and deciduous. Most of the cultivated species
originate in China, but the genus also occurs in Africa, Madagascar,
southern Asia and South America and includes many tropical and
species. The leaves are large, pointed and often crepe-textured,
in opposite pairs. The spice-scented flowers are small and tubular,
occur in dense spikes at the branch tips or sometimes in smaller
along the branches. They range through pink, mauves, reddish purples,
oranges and yellows.
CULTIVATION: "Buddlejas prefer full sun and good drainage,
but thrive in any
soil type. Fairly hard pruning in early spring controls their
appearance. Propagate from cuttings in summer.
Buddleja lindleyana: Occurring wild in southeastern China, this
weak-stemmed evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub grows to about
12 ft (3.5 m).
It has pointed, almost hairless leaves, and nodding, tapered spikes
violet flowers are borne in late summer. Individual flowers are
3/4 in (20
mm) long and 1/3 in (8mm) across at the mouth, but not many are
open at the
Reference: Botanica--The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Over 10,000
and How to Cultivate Them