Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ravishing Miss Ruby .. Butterfly Love!

Ravishing 'Miss Ruby' arrived on my doorstep as a small plant just last year, and in a short window of time, the new compact Buddleia cultivar has shown itself to be a keeper. Proven Winners / ColorChoice sent it to trial - one of the perks of being a garden writer. The color is admirable, far richer and more intense than any buddleia I've grown since moving to California.

Here's Buddleia X 'Miss Ruby' enjoying a sun bath in late-spring. A butterfly bush that blooms like blazes, even before the first day of summer. 'Miss Ruby' has been developed to grow more compactly than the giant butterfly bushes I see when walking around my town. Originally a summer community for San Francisco residents, the town's small cottages remain as vestiges of the old days, along with well-established shrubs such as buddleias with thick trunks, growing streetside for screening and privacy.

Yesterday a marketing person explained that unlike older varieties, 'Miss Ruby' produces vary little viable seed, so the plant should not be invasive. It's certainly a profuse bloomer! Producing enough sprays to enjoy fresh bouquets continuously these past few weeks. And still, the shrub is covered in blooms, attracting a host of swallowtail butterflies.


  1. Alice, it's a proven winner, all right! These are truly dazzling blooms. I can see why the butterflies like them so well.

  2. Hi Alice! It is certainly a showstopper! Rich, intence color! The fact that this plant is compact and not invasive makes it more valuable.

  3. Hi Tatyana,
    Yes, the color alone would be great, but breeding it for a smaller form seems like an important plus for small gardens. The non-invasive aspect is probably the most important for West Coast gardens especiallly.

  4. Hey Kimberly,
    Anything we can do to invite more butterflies: magic words!

  5. Glad you mentioned the fact that this doesn't produce viable seed. I was very interested in Butterfly bushes some time ago until I started noticing they were taking over large spaces on the sides of the roads. I swore I wouldn't plant them after seeing that. Glad to hear I might still be able to enjoy them! Marguerite

  6. I did not realize that Butterfly bushes were invasive. The flowers make a stunning bouquet.