Buddleja salviifolia | Sagewood Butterfly Bush
South African Sagewood Butterfly Bush, also known as Velvet-leaf Butterfly Bush, or Sage Bush, is a semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub is native to the Western and Eastern Cape of Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique where it grows naturally in forest margins, rocky hillsides and along stream banks. By shrub standards this plant gets pretty big, about 9 ft in height, creating a vase-like shape, and its cane-like growth means that once it reaches full height, it simply won’t get any bigger. This is advantageous because the majority of shrubs grow cumulatively from tip growth and simply get bigger and bigger over time, often opening up beneath. But that’s not the case with cane-type growers, which makes them perfect for creating living screens. As long as their ultimate height is the height you need for privacy, or to block out an ugly view, or as windbreak, then they need no extra care to maintain them at that height.
Square, winged stems with sage-green, silver-backed leaves that are conspicuously wrinkled and densely covered in white or brownish hairs, giving them a soft velvety feel. The leaves can be broadly or narrowly long. Our plant has broad leaves. Masses of small, intensely fragrant periwinkle-lilac blooms are borne in large panicles and bloom in early spring. The flowers attracts many insects such as bees, butterflies and birds.
In a garden setting Sagewood is useful as a framework or a background plant. It is very decorative when in flower. If pruned often, it makes an excellent hedge. Young plants must be protected from frost for the first season whereas well established Sagewood can withstand frost and hard-freezes. Sagewood grows easily in most any soil, but adding compost to a well-drained soil will yield the best results.
Fresh and dried Buddleja salviifolia leaves can make an aromatic herbal tea. A decoction of roots provides a remedy for cough and for relief of colic.
If any pruning is to be done, it should occur shortly after flowering because flowers will bloom on last years wood.
Deer resistant, drought adapted and cold hardy.
Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
Mature height: 6-8 ft
Mature width: 4-5 ft
Hardiness zones: 7-9