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Buddleia colvilei Hook. f. & Thoms.

Modern name

Buddleja colvilei Hook.f.

A shrub or small tree 30 to 40 ft high in the Himalaya, of vigorous growth, producing long arching shoots in one season; all the younger parts of the plant are at first covered with red-brown wool. Leaves 3 to 10 in. long, 34 to 212 in. wide; oval lance-shaped, shallowly toothed, tapered at both ends; dark green, at first downy above and felted beneath, but becoming nearly glabrous on both surfaces. Flowers produced in June in terminal pendulous panicles 6 to 8 in. long, about 3 in. wide. Corolla of a beautiful rose or crimson, white in the throat, the tube 34 to 1 in. long, as much or more across the limb; the four lobes rounded, recurved. Calyx bell-shaped, with short lobes. Bot. Mag., t. 7449.

Native of the Sikkim Himalaya, up to 12,000 ft; discovered by Sir Joseph Hooker in 1849. It first flowered with the late Mr W. E. Gumbleton at Belgrove, near Cork, in 1892. Although tender when young, mature plants have survived very hard winters even in the open ground. It is, however, best planted against a high wall, where the season’s growths, on which the flowers are borne in the following summer, are more likely to ripen well and pass through the winter unharmed. This buddleia should not be pruned annually but may be kept within bounds by the removal of superfluous wood. No other buddleia capable of living out-of-doors in the British Isles has such large individual flowers, and it is undoubtedly the handsomest in the genus; Sir J. Hooker even said, ‘the handsomest of all Himalayan shrubs’.

cv. ‘Kewensis’. – This name has been given in gardens to the descendants of a plant that once grew in the Temperate House at Kew. Flowers a richer red than in the older cultivated form, the leaves a little narrower; the late Sir Frederick Stern also found it hardier when grown in the open ground at Highdown. Plants raised from seed collected in Bhutan by Ludlow, Sherriff, and Hicks have flowers of a similar hue (LSH 21281).

Buddleia colvilei

Buddleia colvilei



Other species in the genus