Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

Orange-eye Butterflybush Buddleja davidii (Buddleia davidii)


enlarge +

© Richard A. Casagrande, University of Rhode Island/

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Buddlejaceae, Butterflybush view all from this family

Description Introduced. Cultivated flowering shrub from China with long, leggy branches bearing showy clusters of lilac-purple flowers.
Height: 4-8' (1.2-2.4 m); some to 12' (3.6 m).
Leaves: 6" (15 cm) long; lance-shaped; finely toothed; gray-green.
Flowers: small; long tube flared at end and divided into 4 petals; typically pale purple with orange throat, but cultivars available in a variety of colors; in dense terminal spikes, to 12" (30 cm) long.

Habitat Disturbed habitats, roadsides, open woods, riparian habitats.

Range Asia native; escaped from cultivation and naturalized in the East from Massachusetts to Georgia, Tennessee, and Michigan, and in California, Oregon, and Washington in the West.

Discussion A popular garden choice, planted for its beautiful flower clusters that do indeed attract butterflies, as well as hummingbirds and honey bees, Orange-eye Butterflybush is considered a potentially invasive weed in some areas. Windborne seeds can blow into natural habitats; one study in Oregon showed butterflybush seedlings were outcompeting seedlings of native Douglas-fir. Gardeners are advised to seek out cultivars that are not known to spread and to keep an eye out for seedlings outside the range of their yards, especially if they border natural habitats.