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Dark Knight Butterfly Bush

Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’

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Dark Knight Butterfly Bush, dark bluish purple flower clusters

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If you want to attract butterflies to your landscape, the Black Knight butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’) is an excellent addition. Butterflies and hummingbirds will enjoy the fragrant and charming blooms as your space is filled with color. The sweet nectar welcomes those visitors in the afternoon after it has warmed in the sun. This deciduous plant makes a lovely element as a single shrub or in a mass planting. With its deep green leaves and purple blooms, this butterfly bush adds a touch of drama to any outdoor space.

The Black Knight butterfly bush has won the prestigious “Award of Garden Merit” from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Plant Attributes

When you plant the Black Knight butterfly bush in your landscape, you are treated to a deep purple display of blooms. These richly colored flowers add a charming touch to your summer garden.

This large deciduous shrub features graceful arching branches with dark green leaves. On the leaves’ undersides, you will notice a whitish color that offsets the deeper hues of this shrub. The sweet-scented panicles of dark purple flowers produce a nectar that is a favorite treat for both butterflies and hummingbirds. The flowers can spike up to ten inches on the branches, and they will bloom in your garden from mid-summer to early fall. In some cases, the blooms can last up to the first frost of the season.

Landscape Use

This shrub is an open multi-stemmed bush that features an upright habit of growth. It has an average texture that blends seamlessly into a landscape. If you are looking to balance your view, you might want to plant other shrubs near the Black Knight.

The Black Knight would make an excellent addition to a reading garden or pool as a floral privacy screen. This shrub works well in cottage gardens or as a shrub border. You might even want to add it as a foundation planting in your landscape.

These plants thrive in containers around your patios or balconies. However, this butterfly bush will need more water than those planted in the ground. If you are looking for a pop of indoor color, you should take a few clippings of these flowers and add them to a decorative vase.

However, the primary purpose of this shrub is its usefulness as a butterfly bush. Many people choose this easy-to-grow plant because it attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. If you want to see these creatures, it is best to place the shrub in an area that will receive plenty of sunlight. The sunshine warms up the nectar as the butterflies sip on this treat throughout the late summer. Whether you want a pollinator-attracting plant or need to add some dramatic deep purple blooms, this is an excellent shrub for your space.

Planting & Care

The Black Knight butterfly bush is a low-maintenance shrub. At maturity, this shrub will reach a height of five feet, and it can be a little leggy with a typical clearance of one foot from the ground. It grows extremely fast in your garden, and you can expect this shrub to last for about 20 years.

This shrub is suited to plant in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9. The Black Knight will excel in areas with full sunlight. It can adapt to both moist and dry locations. In most cases, this plant thrives in average landscape conditions. The Black Knight does not have a preference for any specific pH or soil type. It can handle harsh conditions, including city environments.

Pruning should be completed in the early to mid-spring so that the plant has time to establish new growth. However, you need to avoid pruning in the winter as it can lead to damage to those new growth shoots.

Additional Information

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Dark Knight Butterfly Bush


The Black Knight butterfly bush is a tall shrub that produces spectacular dark purple blooms in the summer. This shrub is the perfect addition for those who want to have visitors to their garden in the form of bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. You can use this variety as a perennial as it will return each spring with new blooms.

Arbor Valley Nursery is your top choice for plants, shrubs, and trees, including the award-winning Black Knight butterfly bush. We can help you find the right options for all your outdoor landscapes. If you want to learn more about our inventory, take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Watering Needs: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers.
  • Botanical Pronunciation: BUD-lee-uh da-VID-ee-eye
  • Plant type: Shrub
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous
  • Growth rate: Fast
  • Average landscape size: Quickly reaches 6 to 8 ft. tall, 4 to 6 ft. wide.
  • Special features: Easy Care, Fast Growing, Waterwise
  • Foliage color: Gray-green
  • Blooms: Midsummer through Fall
  • Flower color: Purple
  • Flower attributes: Flowers for Cutting, Fragrant, Showy Flowers
  • Garden style: Cottage, Mediterranean, Rustic
  • Companion Plants: Bee Balm (Monarda); Coneflower (Echinacea); Butterfly Weed (Asclepias); Salvia (Salvia); Russian Sage (Perovskia)

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