Blue Butterfly Bush

Photo: ZenJazzyGeek

The most obvious way to recognize a blue butterfly bush is by that magic word in the name 'blue'.  But as one becomes more familiar with the colors of these fragrant plants, often there is a hint of another color, like purple.

This is a list that provides the names of those that are more likely
to be found at nurseries if you look around.  In winter
climates these are deciduous plants.

Genus varieties: 

  • B. davidii var nanhoensis - This is a more compact bush that grows rarely more that 4 feet (1.5 m) and is used in the production of many dwarf cultivars, like Nanho Blue.  Nanhoensis is also an Orange eye variety.

  • B. davidii var veitchiana - Again another orange eye with deeper color that has a touch of lavender.  Inflorescence panicles are quite dense and arch.

Cultivars & Hybrids of Blue Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii:

  • Adokeep - Also called 'Adonis', this is a smaller species that works very well in gardens with limited space or containers.

  • Blue Heaven - This mid-sized growing shrub grows about 3 feet (.9 m).  It has orange eyes and lavender-blue flowers.

Photo: ZenJazzyGeek
  • Bonnie - Fragrant blooms with panicles growing 10 inches (25 cm). Flowers are more pale in color. Leaves are gray-green and plant grows up to 10 feet (3 m).

  • Cornwall Blue - Growing up to 8 feet tall (2.44 m), this is the truest blue against silvery-green leaves.

  • Darkness - Having a little hint of purple,  this grows up to 10 feet (3 m).

  • Ecolonia - With a hint of purple, this is a dwarf butterfly bush that grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m).

  • Ellen's Blue - Another dwarf size shrub also with a hint of purple. Growing up to 4 feet (1.2 m), this is a highly fragrant plant that brings the pollinators in.  

  • Empire Blue - Orange eye flowers can be more lavender in color at times. Sometimes plant disappoints because of the smaller panicle size. Grows up to 8 feet (2.75 m).

  • Glasnevin - With a hint of lilac, this hardy plant grows up to 6 feet (1.8 m).  This particular species fills out over time and after a few years really looks nice.

  • Lo & Behold Blue Chip Butterfly Bush - This dwarf has a hint of purple in the flowers.  Plant grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m).

  • Miss Ellen - Having an orange eye, flowers are deeper and darker in color.  This plant is smaller and more compact.

  • Nanho Blue - Alao called 'Petite Indigo', average growth height is 4 feet (1.2 m) but can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m).  

  • Pixie Blue - Having deep coloration, this dwarf shrub that grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m).

  • Southcombe Blue - Reaching heights of 8 feet (2.4 m), flowers are lighter in color with a hint of violet.

  • Southcombe Splendour - Having the same characteristics of the above Southcombe, what makes this species slightly different is the large dense flower panicle spikes that have smaller spikes growing from them. Plant grows up to 7 feet (2.1 m).

Photo: EasyButterflyGarden

Just because the name of plant species has blue butterfly bush in it doesn't necessarily mean it won't have lavenders  or pinks enhancing the flower colors.

Cultivars & hybrids not B. davidii are:

  • Buddleja 'Silver Frost' - Cultivated from a species that had blue flowers, this plants blooms are much lighter especially when set against the grayish-silver foliage. Plant grows up to 7 feet (2.1 m).

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