Home > Shrub
Plant type: ShrubFlower colour: MauveAspect: Prefers full sunSize: LargeSeason: SummerDelivery: Mail order or collection: see opening timesSoil: Well-drainedImage: WTGNCommon name: Butterfly bush
Currently out of stock, but we're growing some more.
A rare, large deciduous shrub or small tree bearing abundant, arching and elegant branches bearing fragrant lilac-coloured flowers on the previous year's growth. Prefers full sun and moist but well drained soil. Final height may be as much as 7m, and once established produces vast number of flowers, sometimes described as a 'waterfall of soft purple' Trim after flowering
Prune after flowering, unlike the Buddleia davidii hybrids which, flowering on the current season's growth, should be pruned before flowering.
Buddleia alternifolia is native to Kansu, China and has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit, not least for its exceptional beauty once established as well its easy going and robust, trouble free nature. .
Native of Kansu, China, described and named by Maximowicz in 1880, but introduced by W. Purdom and Reginald Farrer about 1915. This species is remarkably distinct from other cultivated buddleias in its alternate leaves. It is also singularly beautiful, flowering freely when a few years old and growing with great vigour. The flowers are fragrant, although not so much so as in some of the buddleias. I have seen no finer or handsomer specimen than one in the Royal Horticultural Societyís Garden at Wisley, where it is a small tree. In the chalk garden at Highdown, near Worthing, it was, in May 1930, 16 ft high and wide, but, owing to the warmer climate, of looser, more diffuse branching than at Wisley. Farrer writes of it as seen in Kansu: Ďa gracious, small-leaved, weeping willow when it is not in flower and a sheer waterfall of soft purple when it isí. I saw the Wisley tree in flower a few years ago and appreciated the aptitude of these comparisons. Whenever possible, it should be trained up into tree form. It likes a sunny position and a good loamy soil; easily increased by cuttings or by the root suckers it occasionally develops. It is one of the species that bears its flowers on wood made during the previous summer and should therefore not be spring-pruned.
We are a small and very busy working nursery and we do not have the capacity to continually update pot size information on our web shop as we are continually propagating and potting plants up. Therefore any one plant type may be in different pot sizes at different times of year. However, we hope the following notes will be useful
1. We do not sell any plants in 'plug' sizes - all our plants are of a size that is appropriate for planting out in the garden.
2. Early in the year herbaceous perennials may be in 9cm (1/2 litre) or one litre pots. As we enter summer a lot of herbaceous perennials move on to 2 litre, 3 litre and occasionally 4 or even 5 litre pots.
3. Shrubs are generally in 2 litre pots at minimum, moving up to 3, 4 and 5 litres as appropriate, occasionally 7.5 litres or even 10 litres
4. Our smallest trees may be in 3 litre pots but are generally in 7.5 to 10 litre pots, some moving on to 15 litres and occasionally 20 litres
If you want to know the specific pots size of a plant please use the 'contact us' feature on the web shop, or call us on 01953 488163, although as we spend so much time on the nursery...you guessed it... propagating and potting up plants you may need to leave a message which we will endeavour to answer the same day.
Our minimum charge for sending plants by overnight courier is £9.95 which will cover the cost of up to 10 small plants, for example herbaceous perennials. This is an overnight service from when your plants leave the nursery which is normally Thursday, to arrive Friday - all ready for a great weekend in the garden.
Adding additional plants to your order will progressively, but moderately, increase the shipping charge, but this is made entirely explicit in your shopping basket, where you can add or remove items and watch how the shipping charge alters accordingly.
The maximum charge for delivery is £18.95 which would cover an unlimited number of plants.
Due to the fact that, including the cost of the boxes and so on, we pay considerably more than £9.95 for each shipment, our delivery charges are in effect subsidised by us. For that reason we have to ask for a minimum purchase of £25 before delivery in order minimise our losses.
For shipping to remoter addresses, for example the Highlands and Islands, please contact us and we will be able to provide you with a quotation. Following Brexit we no longer ship to the EU or northern Ireland
We try to run Walnut Tree Garden Nursery in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. These are some of the steps we have taken:
1. We only use peat free compost although occasionally young plants and propagation stock arrives in peat-based composts. The balance of composts on the nursery is at least 90% peat free compared to peat.
2. We clean and re-use long life plastic pots where possible.
3. Customers can return the pots that came from us for re-use.
4. No single-use pots or trays (e.g. polystyrene bedding trays) are ever used.
5. We always hand water and do not use overhead sprinklers in order to minimise water waste.
6. We use biological control of pests where possible (e.g. parasitic nematodes against vine weevil)
7. We only use the bare minimum use of pesticides and fungicides – strictly on an 'as needed’ basis –after dusk and only on foliage to protect pollen and nectar seeking insects.
8. Mains electricity is 100% renewable, purchased from Bulb
9. Electricity is also supplied by on-site photovoltaic panels during daylight hours
10. Since May 2020 we donate to COTAP.org carbon-offset projects in order to compensate for carbon emissions relating to all aspect of our business (pot and compost production, deliveries, mail order couriers, leaflet printing and so on) . As of November 2020 we have purchased 28 tonnes of carbon offsets.
11. We propagate as much of our stock on-site as possible, which reduces carbon miles. Propagation material that we buy in is at as small a growth stage as possible to minimise carbon miles. We often propagate from seeds: for example, a batch of seeds arriving by post might weight no more than 50-100 grams but which we will grow on to produce to 2-3,000 plants, in peat free compost, often in pre-used pots.
12. In addition to all the herbaceous perennials and woody shrubs that we sell, we also sell approximately 500 trees annually. Therefore, since we started the business in 1998 we have sold some 21,000 trees, hopefully leading to a cascade of environmental benefits in our customer's gardens.