Buddleja davidii has long been known as 'The Butterfly Bush'.
Comma and red admiral enjoy late nectar on buddleja x weyariana
Its slender flower stems and rich scent are a magnet to butterflies in August. The bushes sometimes shimmer with the fluttering wings of red admiral, small tortoiseshell, comma, painted lady and peacock butterflies - all filling up on the nutritious nectar the plants give so generously and that prepare the butterflies for the long winter hibernation. These sources of energy giving late nectar play an important part in butterfly life cycles, improving the insects chances of surviving long, cold winters. But all too soon the purple, lilac or white flowers fade and butterflies move away.
But this year I have discovered poached egg yellow Buddleja x weyeriana and have found that its golden flower spikes are still attracting butterflies in October.
As with all buddlejas, the golden form strikes easily from cuttings and will flower, as ours have, in their first year. It has been given the 'Award of Garden Merit' by our Royal Horticultural Society - an indication that this plant is of high quality.
2012 has been a dismal year for British butterflies but the Buddleja x weyeriana we have planted in a sunny corner of the Cedar Walk at Cordwood have been attracting late flying butterflies by the dozen. I was delighted to count several commas - they have been notable by their absence this year. Welcome back.