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PlantFiles: Asian Butterfly Bush, White Butterfly Bush, Winter Lilac
Buddleja asiatica

Family: Buddlejaceae
Genus: Buddleja (BUD-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: asiatica (a-see-AT-ee-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Buddleia asiatica

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By simple layering
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Buddleja asiatica by Floridian

By Dinu
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By Clare_CA
Thumbnail #3 of Buddleja asiatica by Clare_CA

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4 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative sluglife On Sep 16, 2012, sluglife from Kailua, HI wrote:

Buddleja asiatica often takes hold in gardens, disturbed areas, riparian areas, and open woodlands and has become a major weed throughout many subtropical and tropical areas of the world. Also, its rampant growth is hard to keep in check, and it becomes unattractive without active pruning.

Positive vossner On May 29, 2007, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Boy does it get big. I am training mine to grow as a standard and the canopy is taking over. Next fall I might move it to a place where it can grow to its heart's content. So beware, plant it where it has room to grow.

Delicious fragrance.

Positive sublimaze1 On Jun 17, 2006, sublimaze1 from Frisco, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant has been in the ground here in Texas (7b) and first two years were slow. This year BOOM! 5 feet tall and eight feet wide with tons of blooms. Attractive plant - in full sun, maybe 10% shaded by a nearby live-oak. It is in topsoil, but not what I consider to be excessive; the rest is this miserable Texas clay

Positive buckimom On Nov 1, 2004, buckimom from Piqua, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have had two butterfly bushes. One was in full sun and one was partially shaded. The full sun bush is BIG and has been full of blooms for the two years that I have had it. The beautiful butterflies who feed on its nectar have been a joy to watch. My husband has seen hummingbirds at it also. I haven't but I don't doubt his word I just haven't been as lucky. I did not cut it back this fall. I like looking out and seeing it there in my little garden that I made for it and some hostas. The partially shaded plant has not bloomed as profusely, but I do not want to move it for fear I will kill it.

Positive Clare_CA On Feb 25, 2004, Clare_CA from (Zone 10b) wrote:

This excerpt was taken from Mountain Valley Growers:

"The Winter Flowering Lilac, Buddleia asiatica, is not the most attractive of the Butterfly Bushes. It can reach 12 feet or more and has widely spaced leaves that often curl or hang down. It blooms in late winter and early spring and often looks like it is all flowers and no leaves at all. When the flowers are finished the shrub tends to look dead. Thankfully, this is the time for pruning. Unlike, the more common Buddleia davidiis, B. asiatica blooms on year old wood. Soon new bright green leaves with felty white undersides will grow, but the shrub will remain without flowers the rest of the season. While the flowers of this Buddleia may not rival the appearance of more common Buddleias, the fragrance more than makes up for it. The B. daviddiis do have a luscious honey aroma, but it doesn't waft through the air with the heavenly scent of Freesias like Buddleia asiatica.

Because Buddleia asiatica makes its new growth late in spring, plants are usually only available later in summer or fall.

Native to Asia, this warm weather Butterfly Bush has naturalized itself, probably spread by wind, on moist lava beds in Hawaii. Amazingly, they grow and thrive, but don't get as tall as they would in an irrigated garden."

Neutral Floridian On Nov 19, 2001, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

A native of Eastern Asia, this Butterfly Bush is one of the largest. It can be pruned very hard and responds well to this treatment. If they are not pruned they tend to get quite large and rather leggy after several seasons. Younger unpruned plants produce flowers sooner in the growing season since it flowers on new growth. It is a moderately succulent caned, large, arching shrub. They are adaptable to a large range of water needs. The flowers are very fragrant. They can be kept blooming by deadheading the spent flowers. The flowers do not readily drop on their own. .


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

Dublin, California
Joshua Tree, California
Kailua, Hawaii
Calvert City, Kentucky
Verona, Missouri
Dayton, Ohio
Piqua, Ohio
Charleston, South Carolina
Frisco, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Seattle, Washington

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