Butterfly bushes are technically Buddleia davidii, which are part of the Buddlejaceae genus, within the Loganiaceae family.
Loganiaceae is a family of flowering shrubs and trees. These fast growing trees produce flowers are great for attracting butterflies.
It was Reverend Adam Buddle who would study Buddleia extensively and later a genus would be named after him based on his work.
Carl Linnaeus, father of biological plant classification, officially termed Buddle's work Buddleja americana. More about the history of Buddle and the butterfly bush here.
There are roughly 100 genus of buddleia. A large proportion of species are native to North and South America from California/Utah to the southern end of South America in Argentina and Chile. Other area Buddleae can be found centralized are Africa, from Arabia to Cape of Good Hope, and over the sea to Madagascar and Asia, from Nepal through India and China to Japan.
Four species that have especially wider distributions are:
There are no indigenous speciies found in Australia, various regions of Russia and Europe.
Although there are butterfly bush plants that grow and behave as perennials, most Buddleia are deciduous. Deciduous vegetation sheds their leaves in fall when winter sets in and remain absent for part of a year. Some Buddleia semi-deciduous, while shedding leaves others will begin to grow back. The last category would be evergreen, which Buddlia species can also be.
It is from these genus types that hybrids and cultivars are born. With this new category of hybrids there already exists more than 150 new types of Buddleia bushes.
Buddleia species we are likely to be more familiar with in North America are:
Overall characteristics that are species wide include:
Amazon has some more popular, sometimes harder to find varieties.
Butterfly Bush Seeds include:
Join Easy Butterfly Garden on Facebook