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Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac

Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac
Photo: Lorna Rose
Invasive Plant
Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac
Buddleja davidii

Who would think that this plant with its delightful name would become an environmental weed?

Arching stems carry sprays of fragrant tiny gold-throated, mauve flowers in spring and summer. As the name suggests, it attracts butterflies.

A tough, vigorous plant from 3–5 m high, it was commonly planted as a quick growing privacy plant.



  • Seeds are spread by wind and water.
  • Dumping of garden prunings that may easily take root.
  • This plant grows readily in damp areas to create shady thickets crowding out natural species and destroying habitat.
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Alternative Plants

Californian Lilac
Photo: Habitat Plants
Alternative Plant Californian Lilac
Ceonathus 'Blue Pacific'
Trees and Shrubs

This attractive evergreen shrub has masses of rich, deep blue flowers in dense clusters during summer through to autumn. It is a hardy and rapid growing shrub to 3 m high by 2 m wide. Prefers full-sun to partial shade, this drought tolerant species is ideal for informal hedges. To maintain compact growth, prune lightly after flowering.

Native Hibiscus
Photo: Macbird Floraprint
Alternative Plant Native Hibiscus
Alyogyne huegelii
Trees and Shrubs

One of the fastest growing and most attractive mid-sized evergreen native shrubs from 2.5–3 m high. Flowers are pale mauve to purplish with reddishpurple throats from late spring to the end of summer. Like other members of the hibiscus family, the flowers open in the morning and last one day. The foliage is dull green, hairy and deeply lobed. Prefers full-sun and good drainage. Prune after flowering to keep growth compact.

Snowball Tree
Photo: Macbird Floraprint
Alternative Plant Snowball Tree
Viburnum opulus (sterile)
Trees and Shrubs

This is a popular, large 'old world' deciduous shrub to 5 m high by 5 m wide with hydrangea-like large rounded heads of white flowers in spring that resemble snowballs. The maple-like leaves colour brilliantly in autumn in shades of yellow-red or redburgundy depending on the soil and local conditions. This plant is sterile.

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