- Can grow up to 5 m tall with very long, opposite green-silver leaves
- Showy long, spiked light-dark purple bunches of tiny flowers
- The center of each tiny flower is typically bright orange
- Young stems appear green but with maturity will develop into a grey-brown
- Establish in sunny, well-drained sites
Introduction and spread
- Native to central China
- It is a popular ornamental flower that gardens have planted and now it had jumped the garden fence.
- Excels at seed production and dispersal as a single flower spike can produce over 40,000 seeds
- Seeds can remain viable up to 5 years in soil
- Cut stems can sprout again
- Very invasive on the West Coast
Consequences of invasion
- Outcompetes native shrubs and plants, which are essential food sources for caterpillars.
- Can clog river systems.
- May alter soil nutrients
Status in the CKISS region
- There is insufficient information for these species on their distribution, impacts, potential for spread and/or feasibility of control. Not enough information to assign a management category. Carry out inventory if required, monitor known locations, and/or find out more information from other regions.
- To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.
Integrated pest management options
- Be PlantWise and use the Grow Me Instead resource to not plant or buy butterfly bush.
- Remove flowerheads in the fall before seed dispersal.
- Dispose invasive species properly at designated disposal sites.
- Seeds and roots can be manually removed. Make sure to extract all the stump and roots, minimize soil disturbance, and prevent seed spread.
- Areas around the removal site should be planted with a native ground cover to prevent future seedling germination
- No biocontrol currently available in BC.
- It may be an option and is best after cutting the trunk off at the base. Contact a professional to see if it’s right for your area.
- Goats can be a helpful control method as they will graze on butterfly bush, however they will not completely kill the plant.