Friday, September 3, 2010

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

Buddleja davidii is known by the common names Butterfly Bush and Orange Eye Butterflybush. It’s planted widely in gardens and is available in many colors including white, pinks and purples. Although it is probably considered a garden plant, it will be found in abandoned gardens in rural areas. It begins to bloom in late May and provides nectar, pollen, for many insects and prey for spiders, and the occasional anole and frog.

It begins to bloom in late May. Blooming may discontinue during the heat of Summer to resume in the Fall.

The Butterfly Bush attracts many insects and spiders. Just a few of its visitors:

Among butterflies, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and

Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae)

Among spiders, the Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia).

Whitebanded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes) with its prey, and

Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) with its egg case.

Unusual visitors have included a juvenile Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis), This little frog was only about an inch long.

A Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis), and an

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera). This young female took charge of the bush for several days, perching on the highest flower head.

At the end of the season, when its leaves have fallen and all of the visitors have let, you can spot seed pods that have opened and shed their seeds.

Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) is native to northwestern China and Japan. In the United States, it grows in many eastern states and the Pacific states.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Buddleja davidii (Orange Eye Butterflybush)

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index


Idaho Birder said...

Very cool and fascinating shots!

JSK said...

Thank you. I was cheating a little to put this in the wildflower series but it's a wonderful bush for all the creatures it attracts.