Plant of the week - ‘Black Knight’

Date posted: 23 April 2015

There are many named cultivars of the Buddleja species, a genus named after English botanist Adam Buddle (1665-1715). One of the best known is the Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ which is our plant of the week. The Black Knight exhibits dark purple inflorescence on tall strong vertical growth. This particular plant benefits from regular pruning to keep it bushy.

Buddleja davidii has its natural distribution in China and Japan and is named for the Basque missionary and explorer in China Father Armand David who noticed the plant on his travels through the country.

This plant was a selection made in The Netherlands in 1959 and was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993. The plants that we have growing in the nursery are in full flower and will be planted out at MLBG over the next few weeks. We are growing a range of different Buddleja species and selections and more will be planted out in the near future.

There are around 100 species of Buddlejas internationally, with a large distribution in Asia, South America and South Africa. Butterflies are attracted to the rich nectar of the flowers which gives rise to the common name of butterfly bush. Birds are also attracted to the flowers. The flowers exhibit a rich sweet perfume which is pleasing to the nose!

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