Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Madagascar Butterfly Bush, Smoke Bush
Buddleja madagascariensis

Family: Buddlejaceae
Genus: Buddleja (BUD-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: madagascariensis (mad-uh-gas-KAR-ee-EN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Buddleia madagascariensis

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


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

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By revlar
Thumbnail #1 of Buddleja madagascariensis by revlar

By revlar
Thumbnail #2 of Buddleja madagascariensis by revlar


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive cestrum_SEQ On Aug 24, 2010, cestrum_SEQ from West of Brisbane
Australia wrote:

It's supposed to be invasive in warm climates but it took four attempts before I got one cutting to strike. (This despite the parent plant growing to a huge size in the neighbourhood.) Virtually every online source describes this species as having fragrant flowers, but mine is unfortunately one of the stinky ones: it smells of cat pee! Not very strong, but I'd prefer to have a perfumed plant. Local government authorities say that, despite it setting seed overseas, it seems to be sterile in Australia as there's no evidence of it setting seed in this country.

Still, it's a very pretty flower and I'm glad I have it ...

Positive revlar On Mar 31, 2009, revlar from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

If you need a privacy screen or to block an unsightly view in a hurry this rapid growing shrub is for you. We planted it along a 50 foot property line fence for privacy and in 3 years it had grown to 15' high and 6' wide and so dense that you can't see through it. It can be pruned to form a hedge or allowed to branch naturally forming a rounded arching shape. The sage green leaves flutter in the breeze revealing the silvery gray underleaf...guess that's where the Smoke Bush name comes from. The flowers are unusual and small blooming in late winter or early spring here in Central Florida. The fragrance....there is almost none... should be described as closer to a peppery truffle oil.............not gym socks!
The only complaint is that it is not very cold tolerant.....temps in the low 20's for several hours at night will kill it almost to the ground but it quickly grows back from the base.

Positive hortulusaptus On Jan 31, 2006, hortulusaptus from Berkeley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A handsome plant, a large grower, worth having for the interesting foliage (dark green with white undersides) and white stems. The flower color is also very unusual for this genus. BUT, if you are offended by the smell of dirty gym socks, you might wish to position this shrub away from where you will be when it flowers - yes, a true stinker!! Apparently this species has abandoned butterfly pollinators in favor of flies! Have lots of fun having garden visitors sniff these beautiful flowers!! ;-)


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

Berkeley, California
Brooksville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida

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