Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Buddleja davidii
Franch., Scrophulariaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  yes

Risk assessment results: 

Accept, score: -4 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia))
High risk, score: 13 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))

Other Latin names:  Buddleia davidii Franch.; Buddleja variabilis Hemsl.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: da ye zui yu cao

English: buddleia, butterfly bush, orange eye, summer lilac

French: arbre aux papillons, lilas d'été

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Shrubs 0.5-5 m tall; young branchlets, leaves abaxially, petioles, and inflorescences white tomentose or pubescent with stellate hairs. Branchlets nearly 4-angled. Stipules often present, suborbicular to ovate, 1-6 mm. Petiole 1-5 mm; leaf blade narrowly ovate, narrowly elliptic, or very narrowly ovate, 4-20 x 0.3-7.5 cm, adaxially dark green and glabrous or subglabrous, base cuneate, margin serrate, apex acuminate, lateral veins 9-14 pairs. Inflorescences terminal, seemingly racemose or thyrsoid cymes, 4-30 x 2-5 cm; lower bracts leaflike, others small and linear. Calyx campanulate, 2-3.5 mm, outside stellate pubescent to glabrous; lobes narrowly triangular, 0.5-2 mm. Corolla violet to dark purple, sometimes white, with an orange-yellow throat, 0.8-1.4 cm, outside glabrous or stellate pubescent and/or with glandular hairs; tube narrowly cylindrical or subcylindrical, 6-11.5 x 1-1.5 mm, inside pilose except at base; lobes suborbicular, 1.5-3 x 1.5-3 mm, outside glabrous. Stamens inserted at middle to near base of corolla tube; anthers oblong, 0.8-1.2 mm. Ovary ovoid, 1.2-2 x 0.8-1.1 mm, glabrous to minutely pubescent, sometimes with glandular hairs. Style 0.5-1.5 mm; stigma clavate. Capsules brown, narrowly ellipsoid to narrowly ovoid, 5-9 x 1.5-2 mm, glabrous or sparsely stellate pubescent. Seeds ellipsoid, 2-4 x ca. 0.5 mm, long winged at both ends"  (Flora of China online).

"Shrub 1-3 m high, the fragrant flowers with lilac corollas orange-yellow in throat" (Smith, 1991; p. 74).  "Deciduous (occasionally semi-evergreen) open, multi-stemmed shrub to 3+ m tall. Stems are bluntly angled, clad in tufts of easily-removed soft woolly hair (downy hairs when young), and become lax when long. Thin, willow-shaped leaves (6-20 x 3-8 cm) are usually hairless above, white or hairy grey underneath, and finely toothed. Distinctive, dense, cone-shaped hanging clusters (30 x 5 cm) made up of many fragrant purple or white flowers (5 mm diameter) with orange insides are produced from December to February and are followed by seed capsules (5-10 mm long)"  (Weedbusters New Zealand).

Habitat/ecology:  Colonizes disturbed areas such as roadsides and riparian areas (Randall et al., 1996).  "Buddleia can grow almost anywhere, but prefers nutrient-rich watercourses and creeklines, where it quickly dominates, shading out and replacing native plant species"  (Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland).  In the Pacific, it could be a potential problem at higher elevations.  In Hawai‘i, naturalized in moist and wet open areas at 3000-5000 ft. elevation. 

In New Zealand, "has invaded streambeds, roadsides and land slips.  ...It appears to be a pioneer species and is eventually replaced by native species if disturbance is not continuous." In Australia, "riparian communities also support infestations, particularly in association with disturbance in the urban area." (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 145). In New Zealand, "riverbanks, roadsides and disturbed sites, particularly around forested areas, waste places in and around settled areas. Buddleia or butterfly bush is abundantly naturalised to the point of being a nuisance in some areas. It has spread deep into the Urewera and other remoter parts of the North Island, and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, even growing on the almost raw lava of Rangitoto Island" (Webb et al., 1988; p. 449).

Propagation:  Wind-dispersed seeds. "Prolific numbers of small brown cylindrical fruits are produced in late summer, each tailed to aid dispersal. Seeds are mainly dispersed by wind and water, but also by machinery, vehicles, the movement of soil, and by dumping" (Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland).

Native range:  Tibet and central China, cultivated elsewhere.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (p. 74)
Voucher cited: DA 16089
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1996) (p. 13)
Voucher cited: Lorence & Flynn 7452 (US)
Sparingly naturalized.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2003) (p. 26)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 000831-9 (BISH)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 94)
Vouchers cited: Baumann 6798, MacKee 12298
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Conn, Barry J., ed. (1995) (pp. 129-131)
A garden escape.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 145)
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
Harley, Barbara (2009)
Canada (British Colombia)
Province of British Columbia
Canada (British Columbia) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Thickets on mountain slopes, side of draws in mountains; 800-3000 m. Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 241)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 188)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Conn, Barry J., ed. (1995) (pp. 129-131)
A garden escape.
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 448)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 20)
Cultivated only
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  A major problem weed in New Zealand (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 145).

See also B. asiatica and B.madagascariensis.

Control:  Seed bank reinfests bared sites. Cut stumps resprout.  Difficult to prevent reinvasion. Follow up 6-monthly. Maintain rolling front.

Physical:  Pull or dig small plants. Leave on site to rot down.

Chemical:  1. Cut stump application: apply glyphosate (250ml/L) or Tordon Brushkiller (250ml/L) to horizontally cut stumps.
2. Bore and fill: drill holes sloping into the sapwood at regular intervals around the tree.  Place a mixture of glyphosate (250ml/L) or undiluted Tordon Brushkiller into each hole.
3. Frilling: with a sharp chisel or axe, make a deep cut into the sapwood at regular intervals around the base of the tree ensuring the plant is not ring-barked.   Immediately apply a mixture of glyphosate (250ml/L) or undiluted Tordon Brushkiller to the cuts using a paintbrush or squeeze bottle.
4. Weed wipe (February-April): glyphosate (333ml/L).
5. Spray (February-April): glyphosate (10ml/L) or metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (5g/10L) or Tordon Brushkiller (90ml/15l (knapsack) or 250ml/100L (spraygun))
"  (Weedbusters New Zealand).

Additional information:
Report (PDF format) from US Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Haleakala Field Station, Hawaii "Plants of Hawaii".
At the Woody Plant Ecology web site.
Information from "Invasive plants of Asian origin established in the United States and their natural enemies, volume 1" (PDF format).
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Information and photos at Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland.
Information sheet from Weedbusters New Zealand.

Additional online information about Buddleja davidii is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Buddleja davidii as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Buddleja davidii may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Charles Darwin Foundation. 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos, Ecuador.

Charles Darwin Research Station. 2005. CDRS Herbarium records.

Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

Conn, Barry J., ed. 1995. Handbooks of the flora of Papua New Guinea, vol. 3. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. 292 pp.

Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: Candidate species for preventative control. Canberra, Australia. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. 208 pp.

Harley, Barbara. 2009. Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland. (online resource).

Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. 1996. Contributions to the Flora of Hawai‘i. V. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Miller, Scott, E., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 1995. Part 2: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 46:8-12.

MacKee, H. S. 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 164 p.

Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro. 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research 8(2)/2004: 171-191.

Owen, S. J. 1997. Ecological weeds on conservation land in New Zealand: A database. Working draft. Wellington, New Zealand. Department of Conservation.

Randall, J. M./Marinelli, J. (eds.). 1996. Invasive plants: weeds of the global garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Handbook 149. 111 pp.

Smith, Albert C. 1991. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 5. 626 pp.

Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. 2003. New plant records from the Hawaiian Archipelago. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucius G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2001-2002. Part 2: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 74:23-34.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1988. Flora of New Zealand, Volume IV: Naturalised pteridophytes, gymnosperms, dicotyledons. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch. 1365 pp.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.

Zheng, Hao/Wu, Yun/Ding, Jianqing/Binion, Denise/Fu, Weidong/Reardon, Richard. 2004. Invasive plants of Asian origin established in the United States and their natural enemies, volume 1. FHTET-2004-05. U.S. Forest Service, Morgantown.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 7 MAR 2013.