Buddleja alternifolia

Common names:

  • Fountain Buddleia

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • A superb species with gracefully arching branches that are wreathed with fragrant, vivid lilac flowers in early summer.

Description of plant:

Buddleja alternifolia is a vigorous large deciduous shrub which can be trained into a small tree, with arching branches bearing narrow, grey-green leaves and sweetly scented lilac-purple flowers, borne in clusters along the previous year's shoots.

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Sunny position well drained soil

Country of origin:

  • Kansu, China

Highdown history:

The specimen at Highdown was raised by seed collected by Farrer during his expedition with W. Purdom in 1915.

Other interesting information:

Described by Farrer as:

“a gracious, small-leaved, weeping willow when it is not in flower and a sheer waterfall of soft purple when it is”.

This species is quite different from the other Buddlejas that are commonly cultivated; as the name suggests, the narrow silvery leaves are arranged alternately along the branches.

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