• buddlejagarden

  • Neotropica Vol 81:

    by Eliane Norman
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    Buddlejas by
    David D. Stuart
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    The Buddleja Garden

    Click images to enlarge

    Buddleja nivea X Buddleja forrestii

    Posted 29th june 2020

    I've grown a few hybrids of the various B. forrestii and B. nivea cultivars. Mostly they resemble B. nivea, with furry foliage and rather small flowers. The parents of this one are B.nivea - pink form and a relatively restrained white-flowered B. forrestii. It's a bit of an exception in that the B. forrestii features are dominant. The foliage is not particularly hairy; the flowers show their B. nivea heritage only with the dense hairs in the mouth of the corolla tube. I've neglected it this spring, but I now think it's unusual enough to be worth persevering with.

    Buddleja forrestii W/O 7061

    Posted 25th june 2020

    Two years since I planted the seeds, and it has finally flowered! Unequivocally Buddleja forrestii. The seeds were collected by Chinese Alpines at nearly 3000 metres from Longzhoushan, Sichuan, China, so this should prove hardier than average for the species. I think it will form a large shrub once planted in the ground. It's another white flower, and so many available B. forrestii cultivars are white already. I'm still hoping to find the apocryphal marron flowered specimen described in the old literature.

    Buddleja nivea var. yunnanensis

    Posted 8th june 2020

    Some things are earlier into flower this year, because of the warmer than usual spring weather, although B. nivea var. yunnanensis is always a month or so ahead of the other members of the species. And what a monster it is, looming up over my shed. Huge felty leaves and large panicles that promise much in bud, but are rather underwhelming when their tiny mauve-purple flowers open.

    Buddleja salviifolia

    Posted 20th May 2020

    Buddleja salviifolia, the blue form, is flowering now, a couple weeks after the white 'Alba' type. This plant grows into a rather tall and ungainly shrub, but the flowers are sensational - large panicles of blue flowers with a perfume second to none, which can fil the garden with scent if the weather is warm. I've found it completely hardy and a reliable bloomer. In fact, pot-grown hothouse specimens are less inclined to flower profusely. This species hybridises with Buddleja crispa varieties quite readily, despite coming from different continents and being quite distantly related. I have a hybrid seedling growing, but it's yet to flower: maybe next year with a little luck?

    Buddleja salviifolia 'Alba'

    Posted 10th May 2020

    Now spring is in full flow several of the species Buddlejas are starting to flower. B. salviifolia is a variable species that grows across a large range in southern Africa. This is the white-flowered form, which has long pendulous leaves, and is proving hardy now it has reached good size. It always flowers several weeeks ahead of the more familiar blue-flowered type and crossing the two is proving difficult as they never seem to be open at the same time: it's gone over now just as the blue one starts opening.

    Lilac flowered examples are common in Africa, but I've not seen one in cultivation as yet. I have some seedlings growing from wild-collected seeds and I'm hoping these will be a pale lilac. The international exchange of wild plant material is becoming more restricted, what with the Nagoya Protocol and increasing phytosanitary regulations, and my seedlings will add to the ex situ gene pool of this species.

    New Variegated Buddleja

    Posted 20th January 2020

    There have been quite a few new Buddlejas in the past few years, but here's one from Thompson and Morgan that's a little different. Butterfly Gold is a Buddleja davidii cultivar with cream-yellow and green variegated foliage. I saw small plants of this variety at last year's Horticultural Trades Association National Show, the foliage was quite striking. The flowers, which I didn't see, are reported to be a violet-purple. The ultimate size of the mature plant should be around 2 metres by 1.5 metres a medium-sized shrub.

    Superficially, Butterfly Gold looks very similar to both Florence (syn.:Variegata) and Burncross, sharing the uninspiring flower colour and the variegation type, with all three having similar wide cream-coloured edges to the leaves. Florence has a poor spreading growth habit, becoming a rather lax and sparse shrub. Burncross is smaller and neater, with very pretty foliage, but its flower-panicles are short and it's also a nightmare to propagate this latter feature could be why Burncross hasn't really caught on. Butterfly Gold certainly promises to improve on the older varieties, and the publicity photos suggest this cultivar is a denser, more robust plant. Time will tell whether or not this is in fact an improved variegated Buddleja.

    Photos coutesy of Thompson & Morgan.

    B. alternifolia

    Buddleja alternifolia
    Buddleja x intermedia

    B. intermedia

    B. japonica

    Buddleja japonica
    Buddleja sessiliflora (as Buddleja verticillata)

    B. sessiliflora

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