Out with the Old. In with the New.

Flutterby Grande™ Peach Cobbler
from Ball Ornamentals, bred by
Peter Podaras of Cornell University, N.Y.

In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Agriculture officially classified the species butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii, as a class “B” noxious weed in 2004. It is also considered a noxious weed in Washington. According to Oregon State University (OSU) Extension, it has been a problem in England where it is one of the top 20 weeds and in New Zealand. The China native invades disturbed areas, particularly riparian areas, and can overtake native vegetation. Efforts will be made in Ore. to eradicate butterfly bush in the wild, but not from people’s yards.

 Even though it is not listed as invasive in most states in the U.S., its status as an invasive plant in Oregon means Oregon’s wholesale nurseries can no longer grow the popular crop—even though nurseries were not considered a major source of the invasion because of their pruning production practices—and you won’t find Buddleia davidii or its cultivars in Oregon garden centers. To learn more about tips on keeping butterfly bush from spreading, visit the OSU Extension Web site.

Flutterby™ Pink
from Ball Ornamentals,
bred by Peter Podaras
of Cornell University, N.Y.

A few buddleia crosses resulting in almost seedless varieties are starting to be introduced into the market. Once approved by the ODA, nurseries can begin growing them and retailers can begin selling them. The Flutterby™ series introduced by Ball Ornamentals has been approved by the ODA and will make its appearance in the New Varieties Showcase at this year’s Farwest Show (produced by the Oregon Association of Nurseries, it is one of the largest horticultural trade shows in the country). Soon we’ll be able to grow with a good conscience the honey scented flowers that are so good at attracting butterflies to our gardens. Don’t look for butterfly bushes, however; they are more likely to be called nectar bushes.

For a fascinating, detailed history of the genus Buddleia, visit Plant Delights Nursery’s Web site.