Black Knight Butterfly Bush

and other Buddleia  with dark flower trusses

Buddliea davidii 'Black Knight' - Black Knight Butterfly Bush is a very sought after Buddleia davidii cultivar.  With its dark grape-purple fragrant flowers, this is a great butterfly & hummingbird plant as well.  

This species grows up to 9+ feet tall (2.7 m) if not pruned with a similar spread.  It can be grown in a container as a more compact flowering shrub with regular trimming.   

Leaves are grayish-green and flower trusses grow up to 10 inches in length (25.4 cm).  Shrub is also popular because it grows more flower panicles than many other Buddleja davidii.

This is a very hardy Buddleja and in winter climates it behaves more as a perennial plant.  It is deciduous and grows well in planting zones 5-9.  As pretty as this shrub can be it is important to keep in mind that, depending on the area it is growing in, it has been known to become invasive.  Very drought tolerant, shrub grows in many soil types, including poorer soils as long as area is well drained.  

*Like with the Buddleia davidii 'Royal Red', where the flowers are more magenta in color, depending on soil and area of growth flower panicles of the Black Knight aren't always very dark blackish-grape in color.  They can often be more dark purple in color.

Plants generally have no problems with insects when they are healthy.

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Photo: SteveP2008

If seeking out more Buddleja that have darker flower panicles as with the black knight butterfly bush, the following is a list of considerations. 

  • B davidii 'Guinevere' - Becoming as common of other summer lilacs, this cultivar was developed by a student of Dr. Michael Dirr at University of Georgia who developed it from a Black Knight butterfly bush seed.

    The goal  with Guinevere was to make the plant more compact while improving the shrubs form.  Having the same dark grape-purple flowers, with Guinevere blooms are more full.  Leaves are a  dark bluish-green.

    This plant grows very quickly and if not pruned regularly can grow up to 10 feet (3 m).

  • B. davidii 'Darkness' -Wide spreading and foot long arching trusses with deep blue to purple-blue flower color.  Grows up to 10 feet tall (3 m) and has silver-greenish leaves.

  • B. davidii 'Adokeep' - Also called 'Adonis Blue'.  Also placed on the Blue Butterfly bush page, depending on one's eye, this bush can also be viewed as a very dark purple.

    This compact plant that can be put in containers or small spaces for gardening.  This also grows fast so cutting back regularly is recommended.

    Grows up to 5 feet (1.5 M) and flower panicles grow up to 11 inches (27.9 cm)

  • B. davidii 'Evil Ways' - Dark purple flower panicles create a dramatic contrast against the yellow/yellow green foliage.  Depending on soil pH the flower clusters can be brighter but can still create the same color intensity when they are a darker color.

    Grows 4 feet tall (1.2 m) x 5 feet wide (1.5 m) and can be planted successfully in zones 5-9.

These listed plants are all deer resistant and often used for container gardens as well in fresh cut flower arrangements.  It is recommend to cut back growth regularly otherwise plants can look 'weedy'.

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