T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids 
Order: Lamiales 
Family: Buddlejaceae 
Genus: Buddleja 
Species: B. davidii 
Binomial name: Buddleja davidii 
Common name: Buddleia, summer lilac, butterfly-bush or orange eye

It is native to north-western China and Japan. Buddleia it is a major weed and is very invasive and is common throughout New Zealand and forms dense stands in a wide range of habitats. In riverbeds, it can alter water flow, causing silt to build up and flooding problems. Buddleia is extremely ecologically versatile, tolerating a wide range of soils, especially poor soils. It can tolerate frost, and a wide range of conditions. Thickets establish and grow quickly, and are self-replacing. It invades river beds, stream sides, disturbed forest, shrubland margins and bare land. It reseeds profusely into bared sites and cut stumps will also resprout. Spread by fine seed.
It is a many-stemmed shrub, up to four metres tall with dull green, narrow, tapering leaves up to 20cm long. The leaves are usually serrated and often hairy, as is the stem. In early summer, the plant produces numerous tapering heads of sweetly scented lilac flowers with orange centres.

Buddleia it is a major weed and is very invasive and is common throughout New Zealand and forms dense stands in a wide range of habitats. In riverbeds, it can alter water flow, causing silt to build up and flooding problems. Buddleia is extremely ecologically versatile, tolerating a wide range of soils, especially poor soils. It can tolerate frost, and a wide range of conditions. Thickets establish and grow quickly, and are self-replacing. It invades river beds, stream sides, disturbed forest, shrubland margins and bare land. It reseeds profusely into bared sites and cut stumps will also resprout. Spread by fine seed which is wind blown.

A Chinese weevil Cleopus japonicus was introduced in 2006 as a weed biocontrol agent and its impact) continues to impress with some buddleia bushes being completely defoliated.The weevil lays its eggs on the leaves of buddleia bushes. The eggs hatch and grow into a yellowish grub up to 5mm in length (like a small maggot), which eats away at the leaves, defoliating the plant, much like monarch caterpillars on swan plants. However, in this case, the grub stunts the buddleia’s growth and can even eventually kill it. The grub pupates in a cocoon on the leaf, eventually emerging as the adult weevil that can fly to a new plant to mate. Although some some insects such as butterflies eat nectar provided by the buddjeia flowers, its potenial impact on native ecosystems far outweighs ts food value






Young buds


Leaf


Underside of leaf