Gardening is all about choices and many gardeners are stepping up to the environmental plate and choosing natives over exotics. Silene regia Royal Catchfly. Why not choose natives that are wildlife-friendly instead of exotic interlopers? It’s long panicles of colorful flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other helpful insects. Quickview. In fact, it's more than attractive; it's a magnet for all the butterflies who pass through your garden seeking nectar. 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Nature's Best Hope. If you do chose the Buddleja davidii, there are sterile cultivars that do not set seed, so check with your source before purchasing one. Although they have similar common names, butterfly bush (Buddleja spp.) I also speak nationally on native plants, sustainable design, and landscape ethics while hosting online classes. Genus Buddleja can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs, occasionally trees or scrambling climbers with simple leaves and panicles of small, tubular fragrant flowers . Yet instead of the old-fashioned oversized plants, it grows just 2 or 3 feet tall and 4 feet across, with horizontal or pendulous flower spikes on a dome-shaped, rounded bush. The rest is up to Mother Nature; weather dictates which flowers will do well. I never considered that an unusual cold snap would exterminate them. In the late afternoon and early evening, when the summer sun is its most potent, the insects are in frenetic action. I own Monarch Gardens LLC, a prairie garden design firm based in Nebraska and working with clients across the Midwest. The long, white flower racemes resemble the blooms of … I had thought about putting in a butterfly bush or two around the side of the house where they might fill in some empty spots. ... Butterfly Weed. If you do have a butterfly bush, be sure to add native host plants such as milkweed, aster, and dill if you want the butterflies to stay. In these cases, you can try dwarf varieties of fruit or flowering trees or simply locate your butterfly garden near one of these larger trees. Camassia scilloides Wild Hyacinth. Introduced from Asia around 1900, butterfly bush has escaped cultivated plantings and is found in wild areas of at least 20 states. They are still attractive to butterflies, moths and bees. The leaves are quite thick, textured and soft to the touch. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting gallery. The first butterfly bush to offer different colors on one panicle, this beautiful rainbow butterfly bush boasts masses of lavender, butterscotch-yellow and orange star-like blooms, blending together to form a striking color display. Joined: Nov 24, 2013 Messages: 76 Likes Received: 35 Location: Colorado, USA. It has very few insect or disease problems as well. 2. It is even considered a world-wide pest in places such as Great Britain. If you need advice/guidance, look up the Wild Ones. Summer Sweet (Clethra alnifolia) is an excellent replacement. The long, white flower racemes resemble the blooms of the butterfly bush as well. Butterfly weed should not be confused with butterfly bush, a non-native plant that is considered invasive throughout most of the U.S. It is most attractive when it receives at least 6 hours of full sun each day and looks best when several plants are massed as a group. Any of the native spirea can tolerate most any wet or boggy place butterfly bush can be found, with the pink Spirea douglasii the easiest to find in nurseries. Grasses & Sedges. Butterfly Garden Plants Cottage Garden Plants Planting Flowers Sarah's Garden Garden Theme Flower Gardening Garden Types Hummingbird Plants Butterfly Bush Buddleia davidii orginates from China, but you can try these native plants as options: Orange Woolly Butterfly Bush (Buddleia marrubifolia), native to the Chihuahuan Desert • It is not noted to attract butterflies, but flowers are reminiscent of butterfly bush. However, this plant also attracts native bees and they use it for a nectar source as well. According to the U.S Forest Service, Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species, and for 18% of U.S. endangered or threatened species. And like many flowering plants, it supplies lots of nectar. Birds and other wildlife consume the berries as a winter food source too. and butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) are two different plants. They make great fragrant landscape plants, have few pests or disease issues and I'm being a responsible steward of the land by planting natives instead of exotics. In fact, it’s a good alternative to butterfly bush, which can crowd out native plants that are important for wildlife. I mow it once each spring. It can be maintained at 8-10 feet and is adapted to a wide range of soils and exposure to sun. Keep Your Cool in the Garden — Here’s What to Do in August, How to Start a Cut Flower Garden for Beautiful Bouquets All Year, Last-Minute Ideas for Stylish Winter Container Designs, 6 Steps to Creating Your Butterfly Garden, What Monarch Butterflies Taught Me About Garden Design, You Don't Need Prairie to Help Pollinators, 3 Ways Native Plants Make Gardening So Much Better, 6 Plants That Beat Butterfly Bush for the Wildlife Draw, For Prairie-Style Charm, Plant a Beautiful Coneflower, American False Pennyroyal Packs a Minty Punch, Common Pricklyash Provides Reliable Orange or Gold Color in Autumn. The alternate leafed butterfly bush is one of about 100 species of butterfly bushes described in Asia, Africa and tropical parts of the Americas. Goldenrod as a larval host plant, and many species of insects also use … Other Shrubs to Grow Instead of Butterfly Bush. Quickview. I've decided to use these plants as replacements for the Buddleja davidii. Shop Now . Mary Anne, I’m so glad you shared your updated version of this article here so that I could link to it from my post about native alternative for invasive butterfly bush. This eastern North American native blooms a bit earlier in the season, late spring to early summer. It is naturalized in the US, readily colonizes natural and disturbed habitats, and is now considered invasive in Massachusetts, Ontario, and Michigan, south to Florida and Texas, west to California, north to British Columbia. Buddleja 'Blue Chip' (Butterfly Bush) is a miniature deciduous shrub with gracefully arching branches, studded with lance-shaped, gray-green leaves and sweetly scented, elongated panicles of intense blue flowers. Native Alternatives for Bush Honeysuckle & Other Exotic Shrubs For alternatives to these exotic or problem shrubs or small trees: Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackia, L. morrowii, L tatarica, L. x bella) Sure wish I had gotten rid of the lawn grass first - I thought the tall, dense prairie would take it out - not so, it is still down below and competing with the natives. Buddleia Flutterby Petite™ Snow White Nectar Bush. New cultivars are available in a variety of colors with blooms ranging from deep purple and bright fuchsia to flowers of creamy yellow and white. Plant near a bench, window or walkway to enjoy the sweet, honey-scented fragrance from midsummer to fall. Butterfly bush. 3 Native Flowering Shrubs to Replace Butterfly Bush 1. Trees and Shrubs. The flowers open from the bottom toward the tip, very much like the species I'm trying to replace, and like the summer sweet, they have a great fragrance too. Family Scrophulariaceae . A Few Butterfly Bush Alternatives. See plants that attract butterflies. Do Not Sell My Personal Information] Buds and young leaves can be disfigured and damaged by a moth larva called a budworm. Be the first in your neighborhood to have this beauty. FREE SHIPPING! • Blooms are rounded pompoms of white to white-pink and the bloom time is earlier than butterfly bush –late spring to early summer. I'm the author of A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future. Butterfly bush is pretty in the garden, but natives do a better job of feeding our wildlife. According to the U.S Forest Service, Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species, and for 18% of U.S. endangered or threatened species. My yard is always buzzing, chirping, croaking. How many species of insect do we see sipping nectar from it, compared to other plants in the garden? Plant near a bench, window or walkway to enjoy the sweet, honey-scented fragrance from midsummer to fall. USDA 3-10 This beautiful shrub has fragrant white or pink flower spikes in the late summer... 2. Butterfly bush is a deciduous medium to large shrub native to central China where it forms thickets along waterways. Alternative Plants. I live well within the optimal growing zone for these shrubs and even had one that was over 10 years old. There is an added element of an intoxicating scent that perfumes the garden. At first, I was eager to replace them with more butterfly bushes, as there are dozens of commercially available cultivars. Plant taxonomy classifies butterfly bush as Buddleia davidii. Try the responsible alternative to energy-intensive turf lawns. By using both of them, I'm assured of summer-long show and my garden insects will not be nectar-deprived. Alternatives. With the proper balance of plants and weeds that attract butterflies and butterfly host plants, you … Buddleia 'Spring Promise' Trees and Shrubs : Buddleias are usually summer flowering shrubs and a bit too vigorous for the average garden, however, here is a smaller one which flowers from the middle of winter through to spring. (I also have a rain garden, fed by my sump pump.) Wonderful Scent that Attracts Butterflies If you want a fool-proof butterfly-attracting garden, Buzz Hot Raspberry Butterfly Bush is the place to start. About | Houzz Contributor. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the Davesgarden.com, Entice Butterflies to your Garden with Shrubs, Big Beautiful Butterfly Bushes: A Treat for You and the Critters, Announcing the Winners of the Invasive Species Photo Contest. If you do have a butterfly bush, be sure to add native host plants such as milkweed, aster, and dill if you want the butterflies to stay. Native species abound to substitute for the butterfly bush. Quickview. 10 years ago I replaced my 1/2 acre suburban lawn with tallgrass prairie plants native to SE Wisconsin clay soil. Primarily trees or shrubs, most species of Buddleja have hairy leaves and clusters of purple, pink, white, Difference Between a Butterfly Bush & a Butterfly Weed. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the Davesgarden.com Terms of Use, Rules, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy. Butterfly Bush Buddleja species Butterfly bush species from Asia and Central America are popular ornamental plants widely used to attract butterflies. Butterfly bush, (genus Buddleja), any of more than 100 species of plants constituting the genus Buddleja (family Scrophulariaceae), native to tropical and subtropical areas of the world. As spring nears, gardeners thoughts turn to new plants for their gardens. Read articles about: Butterfly Gardening, Invasive Species, North American Native Plants, Wildlife. patula 'Miss Kim') Why it's a standout: Adored for its rafts of decadently fragrant, lavender-pink flowers, 'Miss Kim' blooms on the cusp of summer (later than most lilacs), making it an excellent substitute for butterfly bush. Mission | Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by V for short, Dec 1, 2013. Recommended Alternative: Heteranthrea Indigo Bush Indigofera heterantha. Featured Companies | The Butterfly bush is one of the most appealing choices for our gardens and landscapes when we want to attract butterflies. If you would still like to put a butterfly bush in your garden, there are a few species of non-invasive butterfly bushes native to the southwestern US. This new Buddleia davidii is taking the garden world by storm. Spirea will also rapidly form dense thickets with pink showy flowers. Try this: Buttonbush, New Jersey tea, summersweet and elderberry are excellent shrub alternatives for the East; all are irresistible to butterflies. Thank you for promoting natives. The stems are brown in color, with narrow strips of flaking bark. View Product. The Purple Haze Butterfly Bush is a non-seeding variety of this popular plant, with traditional big purple spikes of fragrant flowers, adored by butterflies, hummingbirds and children. Butterflies are not only pretty, these pollinators are also great for the … Native species abound to substitute for the butterfly bush. (Buddleja davidii) Butterflies do too, but did you know that this plant is fast becoming an invasive species in many areas? Both will take over and destroy prairie. Butterfly Bush Recommended Alternative: California Lilac Ceanothus ‘Victoria’, ‘Dark Star’, ‘Julia Phelps’, ‘Blue Mist’, C. x vetchianus A neat and tidy, profusely blooming and sun-loving evergreen shrub. Photography is one of my passions, and all of the images in my articles are my own, except where credited. • It has purple pink, pea-like flowers held in numerous erect racemes about 6 inches long. Another excellent choice is Virginia Sweetspire ( Itea virginica ). See more growing tips in Butterfly Bush: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design in our curated guides to Shrubs 101. Native alternatives to butterfly bush Recently at the Birds & Blooms blogs , Carole Sevilla Brown wrote about the problems butterfly bush is causing in many areas of the United States . It has very few insect or disease problems as well. Many of us love butterfly bushes. Alternatives to Non-native Butterfly Bush . Butterfly weed is a type of milkweed and serves as a host for monarch butterfly caterpillars. The Clethra image is courtesy of Plantfiles and DG mamber 'patp. Are there any native butterfly bushes? In the UK/Europe, some native shrubs/ small trees that are great for native butterfly species (throughout their life-cycles, not just for nectar) include: For those outside the U.S. there are plenty of butterfly bush alternatives, such as guelder rose. For alternatives to these exotic or problem shrubs or small trees: Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackia, L. morrowii, L tatarica, L. x bella)As well as: Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellate)Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)Burning bush (Euonymus alatus)Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)Multiflora (Japanese) rose (Rosa multiflora) It's treated by gardeners as a perennial flower, but, botanically speaking, it's considered a shrub. Take your time prepping for prairie. Discover why Buddleia is irresistible to pollinators and how to keep them blooming longer. Butterfly bush: Clip its wings Plant is officially a weed in our state, but attractive alternatives are alluring By MARTY WINGATE, SPECIAL TO THE POST-INTELLIGENCER Tour | In these cases, you can try dwarf varieties of fruit or flowering trees or simply locate your butterfly garden near one of these larger trees. Media Kit | The first butterfly bush to offer different colors on one panicle, this beautiful rainbow butterfly bush boasts masses of lavender, butterscotch-yellow and orange star-like blooms, blending together to form a striking color display. But remember, butterfly bush or buddleja is not the only plant you can grow that will look great and attract butterflies to your garden. Butterflies, moths, native bees and birds gather for the nectar and seeds. Alternative Edibles. I confess, I had a collection of them until the winter of 2014 when they all perished due to the extreme conditions. I've even been told that hummingbirds find these plants attractive too. However, the more I researched the plant, the more I decided that they weren't a responsible choice and started looking for alternatives. Butterfly Bush Alternative: 'Miss Kim' Korean Lilac Alamy (Syringa pabescens subsp. Thanks to the magic of cultivar developers, the flowers now come in a number of colors, including pink, yellow blue, and multicolors. This shrub replicates the screening function of butterfly bush. The good news is that there are lots of great alternatives to butterfly bush. Plus they have both wildlife garden ‘cred’ and would be a decorative, scented addition to your ornamental gardens. If limited space makes it necessary to establish an ornamental plant that is also edible, alternatives to butterfly bush abound. I come from a long line of Kentuckians who love the Good Earth. The next time you choose plants and shrubs for your garden, step back and do a little research. as there are dozens of commercially available cultivars. V for short Seedling. Chances are, there is a similar native plant with the characteristics you are searching for that will be a better selection. Butterfly Bush Alternative Asked April 8, 2020, 3:21 PM EDT A butterfly bush started growing in front of my gate so I moved it to the corner of my yard and it looks wonderful there. Family Scrophulariaceae . by Melody Rose (melody) February 20, 2016. Quickview. Native alternatives to butterfly bush Recently at the Birds & Blooms blogs , Carole Sevilla Brown wrote about the problems butterfly bush is causing in many areas of the United States . Butterfly Bush Species Buddleja davidii. If you’re gardening in the US, some native shrubs that are great for butterflies are: Firebush is an excellent native alternative to a butterfly bush. Local members will be thrilled to tell you which plants have worked for them and are often eager to share plants or seed. There are many cultivars of butterfly bush, and exact traits vary from cultivar to cultivar. Butterfly Bushes are shrubs that are butterfly and hummingbird magnets that bloom during the summer months.To keep the Buddleia flowering shrubs blooming to their fullest, be sure to prune your butterfly bushes in early spring.Clip away the previous seasons growth down to about a foot or so above the ground. View Product. View Product. Alternatives. This exciting buddleia grows compactly into an attractive rounded shape, unlike other butterfly bushes that often become tall and lanky. One important thing to remember, though, is that Buddleia is still an exotic plant. Another excellent choice is Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica). However, if you deadhead butterfly bush meticulously before it goes to seed you may be able to halt the spread. Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush Spirea will also rapidly form dense thickets with pink showy flowers. See pictures of the best non-invasive butterfly bushes including ‘Miss Molly’ and the Lo and Behold series, plus find alternatives … Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) is a deciduous to semi evergreen shrub that grows up to 5 m tall.Until only recently, this species was celebrated for its robust growth, fragrance, and range of bloom colours, and often recommended for its ability to grow in poor soil and to attract butterflies. It blooms from June and continuously through fall bursting out in magnificent purple flowers, comparable in … Most grow with an upright and arching branch … Continue reading "Butterfly bush + cvs" See plants that attract butterflies . I love your photos and suggestions for much more suitable plants for butterflies. Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) is listed in the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States. [ Home | Learn how to plant, care for and prune butterfly bush in your garden. The others are my own. Contact Us | Some butterfly host plants are trees. Other common names alternate-leaved butterfly bush . Any of the native spirea can tolerate most any wet or boggy place butterfly bush can be found, with the pink Spirea douglasii the easiest to find in nurseries. Appears in. Bees, wasps, flies, moths, beetles and butterflies work to satiate their own hunger on nectar plants, while on others they gather pollen to feed their young miles away. This article eloquently states the rationale and presents nice talking points you could share with gardening friends. Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) is listed in the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States. 7 Invasive Plants and Good Alternative Options HGTV Gardens provides alternatives to your pesky invasive plants in your garden. It keeps a tidy shape as it grows 6 to 8 feet tall and wide, and wraps up each season with a display of … I'm a big advocate for bringing the tallgrass prairie into our urban lives -- only 1% remains, making it more threatened than the Amazon rainforest yet also as effective at sequestering CO2. Borne at the tips of current year's growth, the flower spikes are freely produced from mid summer through early fall and sometimes to first frost. Butterfly Bush Alternative Asked April 8, 2020, 3:21 PM EDT A butterfly bush started growing in front of my gate so I moved it to the corner of my yard and it looks wonderful there. With a name like butterfly bush, you might expect a plant to be attractive to butterflies. This is my second Christmas with my poinsettia, which ... read more, They look to prefer evergreens. Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is a deciduous shrub with an arching habit and impressive flowers, but it has a mixed reputation.It's easy to grow and produces striking flower spikes. 270 locations nationwide! Growing conditions also impact the plant's mature size. Renowned for its ability to attract butterflies, butterfly bush has become invasive in the Pacific Northwest and much of the East. Recommended Alternative: Heteranthrea Indigo Bush Indigofera heterantha. Back to the top With the proper balance of plants and weeds that attract butterflies and butterfly host plants, you can create a successful butterfly garden. A wide range of cultivars are available from nurseries that provide white, blue, pink, magenta and purple flower colors and both standard and compact sizes. It has no significant pest problems and tends to be deer resistant. This plant has the added benefit of brilliant red fall foliage and is even considered a semi-evergreen in the southern part of its range. Butterfly Bush Doesn't Really Benefit Butterflies. Burning bush, privet, Japanese barberry, and butterfly bush all appear to be harmless in home gardens yet they can be detrimental to local ecosystems. • A deciduous shrub with an upright habit reaching a similar height to butterfly bush (12-15 feet). Goldenrod ( Solidago spp). Other common names alternate-leaved butterfly bush . 6 Plants That Beat Butterfly Bush for the Wildlife Draw For Prairie-Style Charm, Plant a Beautiful Coneflower American False Pennyroyal Packs a Minty Punch Common Pricklyash Provides Reliable Orange or Gold Color in Autumn. Facts About Butterfly Bush . 12 Gorgeous Flowers and Shrubs for Winter Gardens, 10 Ways to Enjoy Your Yard More This Holiday Season, Top Cold-Hardy Evergreens for Container Gardens, 7 Ways to Get Your Container Garden Ready for Winter, 12 Garden Tasks to Do Before the Holiday Rush, 5 Ways to Put Fall Leaves to Work in Your Garden, How to Plant Bulbs in Fall for Spring and Summer Blooms, 10 Standout Fall Container Gardens With Seasonal Pizazz, Why Native Plants Make Gardening So Much Better, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. So far, everything has reseeded itself from year to year. They're hardy natives, attract insects and wildlife and do not pose invasive issues. I love to learn about every living thing, and love to share what I've learned. There's no denying that butterfly bush's long, narrow tufts of flowers look beautiful. Buddleia davidii. Mother nature doesn't take care of all my prairie's needs - I have to be vigilant about weed seed blowing in such as giant ragweed and crown vetch. Butterfly Bush-alternativer til miljøvenlige gartnere Thoughtco Jun 05, 2020 Gartnere, der ønsker at tiltrække sommerfugle til deres haver, planter ofte sommerfuglbusk (slægt Buddleia ), en hurtigt voksende busk, der blomstrer prolifalt. This eastern North American native blooms a bit earlier in the season, late spring to early summer. Butterfly Bush Is the Perfect Shrub, Except That It Can Become a Terrible Weed When you're ready to add something new to your landscape, take a … Many butterfly gardeners plan their garden around Buddleia (pronounced BUD-lee-ah), a genus that includes over 100 species and cultivars. This deciduous shrub is native to the U.S. and Canada, with a list of positive traits that should make any gardener smile. Genus Buddleja can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs, occasionally trees or scrambling climbers with simple leaves and panicles of small, tubular fragrant flowers . Butterfly bushes are popular flowering plants regularly found in Asia, Africa and the Americas . For more reading, see: This shrub can grow from 6-12ft tall and has white or pale-pink blooms that can... 3. Well, actually they are still Buddleja, just not Buddleia davidii. IN THE GARDEN: Native alternative to burning bush also potentially problematic ... goldenrod, black-eyed Susan, lantana, salvia, echinacea (coneflower) and butterfly bush (buddleia). Buddleja 'Blue Chip' (Butterfly Bush) is a miniature deciduous shrub with gracefully arching branches, studded with lance-shaped, gray-green leaves and sweetly scented, elongated panicles of intense blue flowers. In the coming years we want to restore a 40+ acre prairie and host an artist residency program. The brightest and most colorful blooms will be on the new butterfly bush growth. Clethra alnifolia Sweet Pepperbush Win, win, win. This shrub replicates the screening function of butterfly bush. If you would still like to put a butterfly bush in your garden, there are a few species of non-invasive butterfly bushes native to the southwestern US . Borne at the tips of current year's growth, the flower spikes are freely produced from mid summer through early fall and sometimes to first frost. "Butterfly bush" is the common name for the Buddleia species of flowering shrub, and it is the perfect plant to compliment the annual and perennial flowers in your butterfly garden. Its violet blooms are a beacon for butterflies and honeybees, and Ultra Violet reblooms well from late spring into fall. Butterfly bushes are susceptible to capsid bug, caterpillars, weevils, mullein moth, and spider mites. If you need height and structure, let me introduce you to the drought-tolerant shrub, With a simple sketch, basic tools and the right plants, you’ll be on your way to growing your first flowers or edibles, Don’t let summer’s heat go to your head. patula 'Miss Kim') Why it's a standout: Adored for its rafts of decadently fragrant, lavender-pink flowers, 'Miss Kim' blooms on the cusp of summer (later than most lilacs), making it an excellent substitute for butterfly bush. If our goal as gardeners is to appreciate and support diverse wildlife — which I hope it is — in conjunction with creating an aesthetically beautiful interpretation of nature, then we have to ask ourselves these questions: How many caterpillars do we see feeding on butterfly bush? The long racemes with a choice of pink or white flowers bloom in mid to late summer and attracts butterflies and moths in great numbers, just like the butterfly bush. Advertise | The Butterfly Bush is an open, multi-stemmed shrub growing from three to ten feet tall depending on the variety. Buddleia Flutterby™ Pink Nectar Bush. • It has purple pink, pea-like flowers held in numerous erect racemes about 6 inches long. Some butterfly host plants are trees. • It is not noted to attract butterflies, but flowers are reminiscent of butterfly bush. New England aster ( Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) Mountain laurel ( Kalmia latifolia) Don't confuse butterfly bush ( Buddleia davidii) with butterfly weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ). All over the garden, the tips of flowers launch into the air — if there were such thing as an insect air traffic controller, it would have lost its mind long ago. Butterfly Bush Alternative: 'Miss Kim' Korean Lilac Alamy (Syringa pabescens subsp. The Purple Haze Butterfly Bush is a non-seeding variety of this popular plant, with traditional big purple spikes of fragrant flowers, adored by butterflies, hummingbirds and children. With a big feeder ... read more. This species is native to Northwestern China where it grows along sunny, summer-dry creek banks at elevations of 3,000 to 10,000 feet. Find out more about invasive shrubs and alternatives. The cone or wand-shaped flower heads … For caterpillar food plants, consider trees and shrubs like Black Cherry, Tuliptree, Northern Spicebush, blueberries, Gray Dogwood, Ninebark, Hoptree and Pipevine, and herbaceous perennials If a flowering shrub is needed to soften the corner of a wall or building, why not select something that isn't going to harm the ecosystem? Life cycle/information: Butterfly bush, also called summer lilac, is a deciduous shrub bearing wands of purple, pink, or white flowers at the branch tips from summer to fall. Butterfly Bush Alternative. The leaves are shaped like spear-heads and can be up to eight inches long. Win, win, win. © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands The fast-growing butterfly bush reaches a mature height of 6 to 10 feet tall in one or two growing seasons. Another win. While it is an excellent source of nectar for adult butterflies, it's not a host plant for any native caterpillars. Invasive Plant: Butterfly Bush.