Butterfly Bush - A profusely spreading deciduous shrub that was a popular ornamental and is now found throughout western Washington. The bush can reach 15' in height and has tall arching branches.
Leaves: Usually 4-10 inches long and 1-3 inches wide, with toothed edges and opposite arrangement on the branch. The upper surface of the leaf is a deep green while the underside appears whiteish due to a dense covering of short fuzzy hair.
Flowers: Flowers bloom from June-October. Showy spikes at the branch terminals can be 4 to 10 inches long. The small flowers are 4 petaled, bell-shaped and typically light purple with orange centers.
Habitat: Butterfly bush can grow just about anywhere and is commonly seen on roadsides (and growing in cracks of median barriers), riversides, and recently cleared/disturbed areas. This species is particularly problematic when established in riparian areas or replanted timberlands.
Weed Classification: B-Select
Why is it a Noxious Weed?
This noxious, fast-growing shrub can root in the toughest conditions, produces 40,000 seeds on a single flower spike, and propagates readily from branch or stem pieces. This combination of factors makes it a significant threat to habitat, natural resources, road and building maintenance, and riparian environments.
Butterfly bush is present in the county but not to the degree seen in neighboring counties. It is seen in controlled landscapes and some roadsides. If spotted, please take note of its precise location and let us know.