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Buddleia

What is Buddleia?

Buddleia, often known as the “Butterfly Bush”, is an invasive species which has been spread throughout the rail network in the UK by both wind borne seeds and the low pressure drag created by trains. The plant typically invades areas such as quarries, urban wastelands, railways, gravel workings, and building sites.

Why is Buddleia a problem in the UK and Ireland?

Loose surfaces of stone and soil embankments form a happy substitute for native slopes and screes, and the thickets of Buddleia formed can encroach on safety zones and hamper access for maintenance on the rail network.

Buddleia also causes damage to built structures,  both abandoned and used buildings, bridges, warehouses etc. Indeed anywhere a small crack or softening of mortar exisits, which can admit a seed, is as suitable for germination and growth as any fissure in a rock face. Deeply penetrating and thickening roots and woody stems soon force masonry apart to costly effect.

As with Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, the denudation of the understorey of native plants renders banks susceptible to erosion in times of flood.

Identification

What does Buddleia look like? View our image gallery to correctly identify Buddleia.

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What does Buddleia look like? View our image gallery to correctly identify Buddleia.

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THE EXPERT DR. KNOTWEED

Howard Downer, AKA Dr. Knotweed, has over 20 years of experience as an Environmental Consultant and is regarded by his peers as one of the most knowledgeable people in the Japanese knotweed industry.

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