The best buddleia for butterflies

19 February 2013

I promise this blog isn’t going to be only about buddleias, but at this time of year, when there isn’t much to report in the way of butterfly sightings or goings-on in the garden, it seems a good time to discuss one of the questions I get asked most – which buddleia is best for butterflies? Work is going on in Dorset to identify the best buddleias for attracting butterflies. It is still in its early stages, but the current indication is that the top variety is ‘Dartmoor’: a bright purple variety, which has its flower heads partially merged, so they are very big.

Small Tortoiseshells on buddleia 'Dartmoor'

Small Tortoiseshells on buddleia ‘Dartmoor’

Second was ‘Autumn Beauty’ (also known as ‘Beijing’). This is a useful variety, as it blooms a bit later than most; it is also useful for schools, so they do not find all the flowers gone over when they getback from their summer break. It is a paler, pinker purple.    

Three Small Tortoiseshells on buddleia 'Autumn Beauty'

Three Small Tortoiseshells on buddleia ‘Autumn Beauty’

           

Third was ‘White Profusion’.

If the above text isn’t as coherent as I hope it usually is, it’s because I was interrupted by my husband and a friend arriving in a great flurry. They were helping out at a local event, and the electrical sockets in the building proved to be not working, leaving them with 60 people wanting tea and coffee, and no power to boil kettles. We live not far away, so they brought down two kettles to add to our one, tried to boil all three at once, and promptly blew our fuse – which crashed my computer. Chris and John – if you read this, you owe me a “like”!

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4 Responses to “The best buddleia for butterflies”

  1. Did you know that the RHS did some trials a few years ago on what were the best buddleias for butterflies? I can’t remember the exact results now, but I will try to look them up and let you know.

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