Buddleia (Buddleja davidii) (or Buddleja, summer lilac, butterfly-bush, orange eye) is a popular garden plant used across the UK. Out of the 100 or so different species of Buddleia, Buddleja davidii is the most popular, introduced at Kew in 1896. It has become widely naturalised and colonises disturbed ground such as railway lines, quarries, roadsides and waste ground.
WARNING.Planting non-native species like Buddleia in your garden make it harder for the butterflies and birds in your neighbourhood to survive. While the butterfly bush provides nectar and is attractive for butterflies, it offers no value for butterfly or moth larvae.
It is recommended that this plant is controlled or eradicated, and you have a duty of care to prevent its spread from your property. You must handle and dispose of the plant in accordance with strict guidelines and legislation. Contact us, we can help.
Buddleia Treatment & Survey Specialists
Japanese Knotweed Ltd are experienced contractors in the surveying and remediation of invasive non-native plant species. We will survey a site and establish the best method and price for control or eradication in accordance with the client’s requirements. Works are expertly undertaken by trained and certified operational staff, with all works fully recorded. By contacting us you benefit from:
- FREE* Survey
- Correct identification of Buddleia
- A detailed investigation by an experienced surveyor
- A professional Management Plan document to include; survey findings, remedial recommendations and costs
- Nationwide service – quick response
- Expert advice and knowledge
- Member of the PCA Invasive Weed Control Group
If you suspect you have an invasive non-native species but are unsure, please send photos of the plant to firstname.lastname@example.org for free identification.
About - Buddleia
Buddleia is a fast-growing, medium to large perennial shrub with long arching branches. The lilac/purple and sometimes white flowers occur in dense pyramidal-shaped panicles, which produce large quantities of nectar. The opposite leaves are deep green, long and wider in the middle (lanceolate), with a white velvety surface (tormentose) underneath.
Across both its native and non-native distribution, it rapidly colonises either natural or disturbed habitats. It can grow in a wide range of soil types and conditions but is best suited for dry open sites. Buddleia davidii is also frost tolerant.
- Grows up to 15 feet tall
- Showy flower spikes grow at the branch ends, 4 to 10 inches long
- Purple flowers typically with orange centres
- Young stems are green, older stems have peeling, grey-brown bark
- Leaves are long and narrow and arranged oppositely on the branches
- Flowers bloom between June and October
It can cause structural damage when it gets a foothold in walls, pavements, chimneys etc. Listed and historic buildings are particularly under threat and it is estimated the cost of damage to properties, both historical and private, currently in the UK is around £1m. Further to this, it also causes significant problems for the management of the rail network.
Dangers - Buddleia
DEFRA has estimated that Buddleia control costs the British economy £961,000 pa, largely because it can germinate in crumbling brickwork and cause damage to old buildings. Further costs include the need for the plant to be cleared from railway lines (Williams, 2010).
Once buddleia starts to grow, just like Japanese knotweed, the root systems can weaken any materials as they grow through masonry and brickwork. The small and winged seeds can be carried great distances by the wind, water, and occasionally by cars. Climate change is likely to trigger higher invasiveness in Europe during the next decades.
DEFRA is developing a rapid risk assessment (2018), which will assess the associated risks and impacts of the species to the UK. However, Buddleia is not currently listed among the wild invasive non-native plants listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Over the past few decades, it has rapidly spread throughout lowland Britain and is still increasing its range and frequency. It is a naturalised invasive plant alien species in Europe, Australasia and North America.
The seeds are adapted for wind dispersal and to a lesser extent by water. Seeds can be distributed over long distances by wind currents. Additional dispersal can be facilitated by the air currents generated by cars and trains. Stem cuttings can also regenerate new plants, and these can be dispersed via waterways.
The Buddleia flowers are insect-pollinated by butterflies, bees and other insects. A standard plant can produce up to 3 million seeds per year. Buddleia has the ability to reproduce asexually via stem and root cuttings and also via buddleia seeds.
Whilst it arrived in the UK in the late 19th century, the first record of buddleia in the wild was 1922.
NB: If no Buddleia is found on the property or within 7m of the property (including neighbouring properties) a charge of £140 plus VAT will apply.
*If the area to be surveyed is greater than 1 acre we reserve the right to apply a charge to carry out the survey. For the Isle of Man or Isle of Wight charges may apply, price on request.