The Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is a fast-growing shrub that is attractive to butterflies. A January seed, small as a dust speck, can become a six-to-eight-foot shrub covered equally with flowers and butterflies by July.
The Butterfly Bush was discovered in the 1880s by French missionaries in China, where it is known as the Summer Lilac.
The fragrant flower, a long panicle, is usually a shade of purple, although white and pink flowering types are quite common. The Butterfly Bush is vigorous and prolific, and colonies are likely to establish themselves quickly on any disturbed ground. It was a common sight amongst the debris of bomb-damaged London in the Second World War.
Due to its rapid and often untidy growth, Butterfly Bush is usually cut back close to the ground each spring. This is an easy way of maintaining an attractive, healthy shrub for many years.