Among the varieties of Buddleja davidii, the ‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush stands out.
It has an excellent shape, interesting foliage, as well as rich, long-term flowering with fragrant deep purple flowers, which attract in addition to the eyes and olfactory centers and a multitude of butterflies.
It is also a flowering shrub of extremely easy cultivation, if planted in the appropriate soil-climatic enviroment, and with minimal maintenance and care, will remain for many years in the garden or in the landscape, contributing aesthetically to the whole.
And of course this is another historical and classic variety of plant species – a thesis that is fully supported by the editorial team of "Kalliergeia" except of the well-known one and permanently disagreeing member, who is still in its ranks as an alibi of pluralism.
Let it be …
During the flowering period, the variety of Buddleja ‘Black Knight’ creates an attractive scenic "atmosphere".
The basic characteristics of ‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush, together with some concise identifications, are given immediately below.
Scientific Name: Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’
Common Names: Βutterfly Βush ‘Black Knight’, ‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush, ‘Black Knight’ Buddleia
Plant Breeding Origin: Moerheim Nursery, Dedemsvaart – Holland (1959)
Awards: Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society, 1993
The ‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush is not only one of the most historic varieties of the species but also represents one of the most serious attempts to create extremely dark colors in ornamental plants.
But especially for the Buddlejas – and in order to understand the size and importance of the project – it must be said that until now, no other variety of the species has approached the ‘dark’ shade of its flowers.
Additionally, one could supplement that tangible achievement is not just the really dark shade of its flowers but the fact that they emit vibrancy and intensity.
This vibrancy and intensity of Black Knight ‘s Βutterfly Βush deep purple color is called the plant lover, the gardener and the landscape architect to exploit, combine and eventually to showcase.
Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’
This variety of Buddleja is suitable for:
‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush is a perennial, woody, deciduous shrub with exceptionally fast growth. Under ideal conditions, it can exhibit an annual growth range of up to 1.5 m (5 ft), while its mature height being between 3.5 and 4 m (11-13 ft) and its diameter between 2.5 and 3 m(8-10 ft) .
The shape of the plant is ovoid-spherical, with a symmetrical crown, while it has a medium texture and an arching habit.
Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’
The branches, which are also due to their arching habit, grow from the base and after they first rise, then – especially after the formation of the flowers – they curve characteristically.
The bark in the twigs is grayish-green, while in the mature gray-brown and relatively smooth texture.
The leaves are velvety textured, have a lanceolate shape, silver-green color, which in summer becomes almost silver and in autumn turns to brownish-yellow and/or grayish-yellow. Their length is between 20 and 25 cm (8-10 in) while their width is 2.5 to 4.5 cm (1-1.8 in).
Flowers are developed at the top of the annual shoots on a racemes inflorescence of 18 to 21 cm (7-8.2 in) in length and 4 to 5 cm (1.5-2 in) in width. They are abundant, fragrant, their color is deep purple in the upper part and a little lighter purple to the bottom while their center is orange-purple.
Flowering is continuous and the flowering period is long, with a duration of 90 to 150 days, starting from the beginning of June and ending in late autumn.
Referring to Buddleja‘s flowers and flowering, it would certainly be a great omission not to say that the production of abundant nectar of them attracts insects among these bees and – what else? – all butterflies, even the rarest of each area.
Thus, Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ fully justifies the English common name of the plant, which is Butterfly Bush and of course not Elephant – or something similar – Bush.
Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’
The ‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush is more tolerant to cold than the typical species since its low temperature tolerance varies from -23 to -26 °C (-9.4 to -14.8 °F).
But without fear, can also being planted in areas where the lowest temperature reaches about -32 °C (-25.6 °F), but in this case its dimensions will be smaller, as well as the flowering period.
Generally, it can be said that while ‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush is planted close to its low temperature limits, in the winter it may die back, but the base and roots area does not affects and therefore, in the spring the plant regenerate more strong and vigorous.
In terms of soil, it has excellent adaptability as it can be cultivated up to calcareous gravel, as long as they drains well.
However, it thrives in deep, fertile, medium textured and high organic matter soils, while in terms of soil pH it prefers slightly alkaline.
In relation to the exposure, it is recommended that ‘Black Knight’ Buddleja is planted only in sunny places. If it is planted in semi-shade or if it receives direct sunlight for less than 6 to 8 hours, the appearance of the plant and the flowering is impaired.
The Buddleja generally belong to ornamental shrubs that do not need special care, beyond the elemental – and ‘Black Knight’ is no exception.
With regard to fertilization, providing a balanced 10-10-10 type fertilizer after the first 10 days of March and every month until August – September is particularly beneficial for the plant.
For irrigation, young plants should be watered – as is true for most ornamental plants – when surface soil at depths of 1 to 2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) have dried out. But since they well established, watering may be minimal, since the plant’s tolerance to drought is high.
A heavy pruning at the end of winter, it works refreshingly while encouraging more flowering. Still, the removal of mature inflorescences also helps in the production of more flowers, but in additionally prevents the formation of seeds, which and the plant "depletes" and naturally reproduces it – making it invasive in some areas.
From diseases, it generally does not face a major problem, with the exception of rare occasions, however, of the Mosaic Virus.
In this case there is no suitable treatment and the plant should be immediately eradicated and burned to prevent further transmission of the disease.
As for the pests, aphids, mites and caterpillars are mentioned, but here, with the use of appropriate formulations, parasites are treated effectively.
The Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’ is utilized in various ways planted:
The References to the article entitled ‘Black Knight’ Βutterfly Βush – Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’, which is characterized by polyphony, are presented alongside by the Deep Purple flower band with their classic song Black Night – and not Black Knight.
With Pomp and Circumstance
Deep Purple in their youth play live in Copenhagen their song Black Night (1972).
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