Butterfly Bush, Summer Skies Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Through their breeding program led by Dr. Mark Brand, the University of Connecticut has created a fabulous Butterfly Bush that just might be the holy grail of Buddleia: a variegated plant that is as stable as it is striking. 'Summer Skies' has the striking part well in hand with foliage that will never fail to grab your attention, featuring a wide band of creamy yellow color on each leaf, surrounding a deep green leaf center. Even if it didn't flower, it would be a welcomed member of your landscape due to its year round color and the fact that it rarely reverts to only green. Each colorful branch ending carries 6-10" long spires of small buds by late June that open in mid July bearing flowers that are superb light lavender-purple color that is even more striking against the creamy yellow variegated leaves. Along with being a magnet for butterlflies and hummingbirds, 'Summer Skies' blooms in early September and will be one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden if you plant it in full sun and well drained soil. Vigorous early spring pruning will guarantee outstanding bloom in the summer months.