SOLVED: The old gardener called it a Butterfly Bush...

Memphis, TN

It was dug up and given to me. I thought it was dead but gave it all the TLC I could and now it's bounced back (minus a few leaves). I'd like to know what it's botanical name is, if anyone recognizes it.

Thanks!

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Port Charlotte, FL

could it be american beautyberry? Callicarpa americana.

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

The common name "butterfly bush" is usually applied to Buddleia. But Buddleia have more narrow, lanceolate leaves. The leaf shape is not consistent w/Callicarpa. I think your plant may be a viburnum, or maybe Clerodendrum trichotomum. Just a guess.

Davis, CA(Zone 9a)

Looks a lot like a Buddleia to me.

Coon Rapids, MN(Zone 4a)

No not buddleia to me - I agree with viburnum

Memphis, TN

I took two more pictures in an attempt to get a better view of the leaves. Perhaps this will help. By the way, it didn't look like Buddleia to me either.

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Memphis, TN

#2

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Pacific, MO(Zone 6a)

While this has already been said, I agree it looks nothing like Buddleia and a couple of your pictures, especially with fuzzy leaves and stem color resemble Viburnum to me, too. Now we just have to wait until ViburnumValley jumps in on this one...

Memphis, TN

I love a mystery!

Pacific, MO(Zone 6a)

Perhaps "the old gardener" just called it that, since Viburnums (and many other bushes, frankly) are very attractive to butterflies?

American Canyon, CA(Zone 9a)

The leaves sure look alot like my Buddleia lindleyana...its a huge suckering shrub with drooping purple flowers. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/57955/

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

I have Buddleia lindleyana and the plant in the first post is not that.... B. lindleyana has more narrow, lanceolate leaves (typical of the genus).

American Canyon, CA(Zone 9a)

Well you just made me march all the way out back, in the rain, and cut some of mine to compare! I still say "some" of the leaves in the pictures are the right shape as some are narrow on mine and some are much wider, but mine are lacking the slightly serrated edges of the plant in question. So, guess I will just back out and let you all figure this one out :)

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Not Viburnum spp.

Look at those leaf scars! Those remind me of (but leaves don't match well with) Chionanthus and Calycanthus. Descriptions of some of the Buddleia spp. look like a match with the foliage and fuzzy stems, but many descriptions speak to four-angled (quadrangular) twigs/stems. The images don't show that.

HelloMissMary needs to give us some broader views of this plant, not just the closeups so far. Don't get me wrong; those are good, but not all there is.

I'm presently leaning toward sandyinthegarden's suggestion of Callicarpa spp., but waiting for daylight to go out and inspect my plants here at the Valley.

Port Charlotte, FL

I brought some of mine in to compare and I still stick by my original guess. Does it have a funky smell to it? Mine does which I never noticed before I cut some off. Mine is just coming into bud now. Im sure that within a few weeks all doubt will be removed. Leaf scars looked similar and the fuzzy new growth along with the marks on the brown wood confirmed it for me but again...Im not an expert. Just love this forum. Its like a game show and a personal challenge!!

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Well, looking at the pics it doesn't seem to have the squarish stems of Buddleja and I haven't noticed Callicarpa with that much fuzz. The leaf arrangement is opposite, alternating. The leaf nodes aren't obvious as in Buddleja. For a moment I thought it might be Broussonetia, then Colquhounia. I'm not sure what it is but it looks familiar. Is there a Hydrangea or Salvia with that type of fuzz, leaf, growth, size?

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

You got it, sandy.

Peel back the Allium layers to see what closer inspection reveals...

Memphis, TN

Wow, lots of good things mentioned here. I will try and get a less closeup shot tomorrow but, since many of the leaves fell off when it was transplanted, I'm not sure that would help either. I did find one droopy leaf still attached so I tore into it to see if there was a smell. There was nothing much there.

The "old gardener" is in her mid-90s, lives alone and tends her gardens as she's always done. I was pretty sure the plant I was getting wasn't a Buddleia AKA Butterfly Bush. I was hoping to learn what I did get. Perhaps sandyinthedarden is right about a few weeks' time making it obvious to us.

Thank you all for your input. I'll post a picture in June and see what it is then.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

What about Hydrangea arborescens? The stem and leaf arrangement do remind me of Hydrangea quercifolia but the leaf shape is wrong for that one.

American Canyon, CA(Zone 9a)

Ok, I said I was leaving but I'm back...lol. Do you think he could have gotten "butterfly bush" mixed up with "beauty bush"? I dont see Kolwitzia very often but they have a similar leaf? http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/521/ I dont have one though (died), and as I said I dont see them in person very often, so I am not sure if it has that fuzzy new growth stem.

Memphis, TN

Plantmum6, I'm finding similarities between my plant and several that have been mentioned, but it seems something's just not quite right in each case. I will go out and try to get some pictures today showing, as Viburnum Valley suggested, more of the whole plant.

I guess this really drives home to me (again) the importance of knowing not only a plant's common name but also something of it's botanical family line. When I first Googled "Butterfly Bush" I got pictures of Buddleias as well as several other things.

I'm so glad you've all been working so hard at trying to identify my little scruffy shrub -- thanks to everyone. I'll post some new photos a little later.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Can you still visit the original garden that this transplant came from, and get a picture of the parent plant? Bet that could pay dividends in overall ID ability.

Memphis, TN

The lady lives out of town and I don't travel much myself. The plants were brought to me by a mutual friend. I wish I could photograph the original, though -- that would solve my mystery right away.

I have taken some more pictures today, hoping to get a good shot of that one identifying characteristic that will give my plant a name. Here goes.

#1

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Memphis, TN

#3

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Memphis, TN

#2 -- which didn't post the first time.....

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Memphis, TN

#4

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Memphis, TN

#5

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mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

it looks like Callicarpa to me but i need to go check mine......

Bretten, Germany

Do the leaves have an unpleasent smell? Could perhaps be Clerodendron?

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

mine are fuzzy and the pronounced veining on the back side of the leaves makes me stick with sandy's id until further notice!

Memphis, TN

I've torn and even crushed a leaf but don't detect any smell. They are heart-shaped and I haven't yet found any photos of Callicarpa Americana with heart-shaped leaves. Are yours?

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

ok, i just ran out and took some pics. i did it quick because everything is dripping from above cedar trees (just had a huge downpour) and i didn't set macro so the close-ups are blurry. was trying to keep the camera from getting wet, but still, you can get an idea.

Thumbnail by trackinsand
mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

another

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mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

underside showing blurry veining

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mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

whole plant

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Memphis, TN

Trackinsand, the picture of your whole bush sure shows a growth habit like mine. Even though most of my leaves are more heart shaped than yours, I'm really leaning toward Callicarpa. I hope mine will bloom this year -- like waiting for the mystery guest to "...enter and sign in, please..."!

Thank you, everyone, for all your help! I think I'll leave this one open and post a picture later on.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

mine are just starting to form tiny buds on the tips. i would imagine yours will be slightly later since you're farther north, but it shouldn't be too long.

we'll be waiting for the verdict!

Memphis, TN

Okay, a little update here -- the "old gardener" was contacted for a description of the blooms on the bush she has known for years only as the "butterfly bush". She says around June it puts out "sticks" that will be covered with "little blue flowers" and butterflies flock to it. It doesn't produce any kind of berry but will reproduce in other spots in the yard by seed pods that drop later on.

My little bush has put out more leaves now so I'm attaching a new photo. From the description the lady provided, can anyone make an identification beyond what has been speculated?

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Davis, CA(Zone 9a)

I think Buddleja . We'll know for sure when we see the blooms.

Port Charlotte, FL

ok, new guess...this thing is haunting me. I now change my vote to clerodendrum ungandense. The flowers are a blue and a light bluish white and look like butterflies! If i knew how to attach the file I would. check it out and see what you think. spelling may be slightly off as I got the idea the other day at home depot!!

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