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Butterfly Bush, Summer Lilac, Orange-eye Butterfly Bush 'Purple Emperor'

Buddleja davidii

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




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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




This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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?


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 fragra... read more


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!


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


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

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