Fountain butterfly bush is a tall shrub or small tree native to China. By far the hardiest of the butterfly bushes, it performs reliably as a true shrub in most conditions (many others die to the ground in winter and are best treated as perennials).
: The fountain butterfly bush is a tall, arching, graceful shrub reaching 15 feet in height if unpruned. Its branches are practically pendulous, making it resemble a shrubby weeping willow. The long, narrow, dark green leaves are grayish below. Although deciduous, they offer little in the way of fall color. The ends of the branches are covered in June with dense clusters of delicately-scented, bright lilac-purple flowers.
: Light, dappled shade or full sun are best. The shrub prefers deep, rich soils. Prune by removing one-third of the old wood after blooming.
: The fountain butterfly bush is an excellent accent plant if given enough space. It can be trained into tree form by pruning, making its pendulous form even more striking. It attracts butterflies.
Fountain butterfly bush related varieties: Buddleia alternifolia Argentea, with silvery leaves, is a popular selection and the first to flower.
Fountain butterfly bush related species: The butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is better known and more highly scented than the fountain butterfly bush. It is smaller with a less attractive habit and is best pruned to the ground each spring. The cluster flowers come in a wide variety of colors. This plant and all its hybrids are extremely invasive in most of North America.
Scientific name of fountain butterfly bush: Buddleia alternifolia