Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac, Orange-eye Butterfly Bush
Buddleja davidii 'Purple Emperor'

Family: Buddlejaceae
Genus: Buddleja (BUD-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: davidii (duh-VID-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Purple Emperor
Additional cultivar information: (English Butterfly Series; aka Pyrkeep)
Hybridized by Keep

Synonym:Buddleia davidii
Synonym:Buddleia variabilis
Synonym:Buddleja variabilis

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Suzy_Bee On Dec 3, 2011, Suzy_Bee from Spring, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Bought this last April and planted it while it still looked like a stick in my hummingbird garden. A few months later it started to grow leaves, and now, seven months later, is 4.5 feet tall, but has still NOT bloomed. It is planted in partial shade. I think I will try transplanting it to a sunnier spot. Suggestions?

Positive ShrubSource On Mar 26, 2009, ShrubSource from Zeeland, MI wrote:

Buddleia - English Butterfly™ Purple Emperor™ Butterfly Bush

Prolific and fragrant bloomer that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds! Purple Emperor™ is extra bushy and loaded with clear bright-purple flowers. It has extremely tight flower heads that are approximately 5 to 6 inches in length. The foliage is narrower, almost strap like. This is a great flowering and neatly growing shrub that is a must for your landscape.

The English Butterfly™ series are colorful Buddleia varieties that won't crowd their neighbors! These three new cultivars were developed in England, and are just now making their way across the Atlantic. Roughly a third the size of other butterfly bush varieties, these plants are extra bushy and loaded with colorful flowers. They're fragrant, and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Unlike older varieties, these cultivars will not overwhelm the landscape, and never develop the weedy, unkempt habit so typical of Butterfly Bush. You'll love the way they look in containers and in gardens. Treat them like a perennial in the north; dies back to the ground (roots are hardy).

Positive garden_n_mom On Sep 17, 2007, garden_n_mom from North Cascades, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is not a verigated buddlea, though the flower show from June to frost and is absolutely spectacular! Great compact form, non-stop rich purple flowers and very problem free!

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 16, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Buddleia 'Purple Emperor'R BUTTERFLY BUSH Dec (z5) (Fra,Cut,Bfly)
Large mauve purple blooms,pretty & fragrant enough for butterflies, gardeners, and flower arrangers, this compact 4-5'shrub can be enjoyed in any yard or in a container. Sun/Med

Positive Marilynbeth On Nov 20, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Beautiful color! I love it! BF's love it also!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Jose, California
Denver, Colorado
Wilmington, Delaware
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Hebron, Kentucky
Madison, Mississippi
Bucyrus, Ohio
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Clover, South Carolina
Fort Mill, South Carolina
Canyon Lake, Texas
Rosharon, Texas
Spring, Texas
Woodbridge, Virginia
Concrete, Washington

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