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  • Author or Editor: Laurie K. Mecca x
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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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Because of its weedy nature, extensive use in the landscape, numerous cultivars, and history as an invasive plant in other countries, butterfly bush (Buddleja) was an appropriate candidate to evaluate for seed production and germination in Florida. Seed production was quantified for 14 butterfly bush taxa planted in western Florida (Milton) and central southern Florida (Fort Pierce). Each of the 14 taxa evaluated produced seed. In Fort Pierce, japanese butterfly bush (B. japonica) had the greatest capsule weight and `Gloster' butterfly bush (B. lindleyana) had the second greatest capsule weight as compared to other taxa. In Milton, `Gloster' had the greatest capsule weight and japanese butterfly bush and `Nanho Alba' butterfly bush (B. davidii var.nanhoensis) had the second greatest capsule weights as compared to other taxa. The shape and number of seed capsules per infructescence varied with cultivar. Seeds were cleaned and germinated in germination boxes with and without light at 20/10, 25/15, 30/20 and 35/25 °C (68.0/50.0, 77.0/59.0, 86.0/68.0 and 95.0/77.0 °F). Regardless of temperature or cultivar, light was required for germination. At each temperature, `Nanho Blue' butterfly bush (B. davidii var. nanhoensis) and `Moonlight' butterfly bush (B. × weyeriana) had highest germination rates (63-74%) as compared to other taxa.

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