NATIVE RANGE: East Asia (China)
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: 1933
POSSIBLE TO FIND: yearround
FLOWERING SEASON: July – September
DESCRIPTION: A shrub with multiple erect branches. Leaves are opposite, lanceolate, finely serrated. Underside densely covered with star-shaped hairs, greyish. New leaves already emerge towards the end of winter. Flowers are borne in long, dense panicles at the end of one-year old branches. Individual flowers are tubular, usually purple, in cultivars also pink, red,
white or bluish-purple. Fruits are dry capsules. They ripen throughout summer and numerous tiny seeds are dispersed by wind during the winter.
HABITAT: Grows in riparian thickets within its native range. Naturalised in thermophilic sites, amongst rocks, often in disused quarries, gravel riverbeds, along roadsides, ruins, gravel pits.
STATUS: Occurs locally throughout Europe. Also widely planted as an ornamental to attract butterflies.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Certain other species of butterflybushes, sold as ornamental plants, are similar, specially B. x weyeriana, B. globosa and B. alternifolia. Common liliac (Syringa vulgaris) has similar clusters of fruits, but flowers in spring, and its leaves are oval to cordate.