Buddleja/Buddleia hybrid| Butterfly Bush ‘Ellens Blue’ (Buddleja ‘Lochinch’ [B. davidii x B. fallowiana] x open pollinated unknown Buddleja)
The Butterfly Bush, also known as a Summer Lilac, is native to China with a natural habitat of forest clearings, riverbanks and limestone outcrops. They have been found to grow exceptionally well on waste grounds, demolition sites, railway-lines, and even in the mortar of walls.
Buddleja ‘Ellens Blue’ is a Buddleja hybrid that was discovered in 2008 as a stray seedling in an Oswego, New York garden owned by Ellen Hornig, former owner of Seneca Hill Perennials, and was later later introduced by Heronswood Nursery. Prized for its deep periwinkle-blue flower spikes and silver-green leaves, ‘Ellen’s Blue’ is a compact plant reaching 3-5 ft tall. This unique color in Buddlejas and its wonderful fragrant flowers make this a great butterfly bush introduction. The foliage stays semi-evergreen through the winter.
Following the Royal Horticultural Society’s Buddleja Euro-trials at Wisley, B. ‘Ellen’s Blue’ was recommended for an Award of Garden Merit in 2010 and tied for first place.
The plants that grow from these seeds will be variable in color and size, but will predominantly resemble that of ‘Ellens Blue’, with a short stature and flower colors ranging from light periwinkle-blue to deep purple-blue. The highly aromatic honey-scented flowers are attractive to butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
For the healthiest growth it is recommended to soft-prune in late autumn (to prevent wind-rocking) and then hard-prune down to your knees in April. Will continue to bloom spent flowers are dead-headed.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 3-5 ft
Mature width- 3-4 ft
Hardiness zones: 5-10