Growth was fast with a number of vertical stalks reaching toward the sky. In their comments, Janet and eu.phorbia were spot on in identifying the mystery plant from the few leaves displayed in my pictures. Once I was convinced it was buddleia, it was moved to an area where it could spread its wings. I have seen some sprawling specimens that were out of control. After its first season of growth, this one is about 4-feet high (1.2 m).
Not wanting a sparse wild plant, I began strategically trimming it several times to encourage some branching and infill. It worked, sort of, but the trimming also delayed flowering so I did not know its color until last month. It still looks a little gangly.
I discovered that the plant keeps on blooming since I have been trimming the dead blooms off. I also discovered that this is important to keep the plant from becoming an invasive. King County Washington outlines its Class B Noxious Weed classification.
"It can grow in very challenging conditions, such as cracks in the pavement and along railroads. Invasion of butterfly bush along riversides is especially problematic, because it forms dense thickets, crowds out native vegetation, and disrupts natural succession patterns. A study at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania found that a single flower spike produced 40,000 seeds. The germination rate of several cultivars was 80 percent or higher. Seeds remain viable in the soil for 3 to 5 years. Butterfly bush can re-sprout from the rootstock after it can been damaged or cut down to its base, and the cut stems can grow into new plants."
|For The Record:|
• Heavy clay soil with gypsum & organic amendments
• Partial sun
• No serious pests/disease
• Mildly sweet smelling blooms
• Continuous blooming
• Blooming: pink cosmos, mexican zinnia. zinnia, cleome, rudbeckia, rose, green coneflower, green nicotiana
• Harvested: 1 pepper, 12 tomatoes, 5 cucumbers