Evaluation of 14 Butterfly Bush Taxa Grown in Western and Southern Florida: I. Visual Quality, Growth, and Development

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  • 1 University of Florida, IFAS, Department of Environmental Horticulture, Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce, FL 34945
  • 2 University of Florida, IFAS, Department of Environmental Horticulture, West Florida Research and Education Center, Milton, FL 32583.

Plant growth, visual quality and flowering were assessed for 14 butterfly bush (Buddleja) taxa planted in western Florida (Milton) and central southern Florida (Fort Pierce). In both locations, `Violet Eyes' butterfly bush (B. weyeriana × B. lindleyana), `Honeycomb' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana), `Moonlight' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana), and `Sungold' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana) generally had the greatest growth index and shoot dry weight of all cultivars. In Fort Pierce and Milton, flower dry weights of `White Profusion' butterfly bush (B. davidii), `Nanho Alba' butterfly bush (B. davidii var. nanhoensis), and `Dartmoor' butterfly bush (B. davidii × B. davidii var. nanhoensis) were among the highest as compared to other cultivars at each site, although in Milton, `Gloster' butterfly bush (B. lindleyana), japanese butterfly bush (B. japonica) and `Honeycomb' butterfly bush also had high flower dry weights. Peak plant performance varied by month, cultivar and location. At 12 weeks, plant form and color were above average for each cultivar with the exception of `Black Knight' butterfly bush (B. davidii), lindley's butterfly bush (B. lindleyana), and `Gloster' butterfly bush in the Fort Pierce location only. After 24 weeks at each location, visual quality was above average for `Black Knight', `Dartmoor', `Gloster', `Honeycomb', `Violet Eyes', and japanese butterfly bush. Peak flowering times varied with cultivar and location. At 24 weeks, flowering of `White Profusion', `Nanho Alba', `Nanho Blue', and `Nanho Purple' butterfly bush grown in Fort Pierce was 25% to 40% less than that of the same cultivars grown in Milton. At 24 weeks, `Dartmoor' had the most flowers in both locations, covering 75% of the plant canopy.

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To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail: sbwilson@mail.ifas.ufl.edu
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