Regularity: Regularly occurring
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Buddleja alternifolia
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Buddleja alternifolia
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
Buddleja alternifolia, known as alternate-leaved butterfly-bush, is endemic to Kansu, China, where it grows along river banks in thickets at elevations of 1,500 – 4,000 m. First described and named by Carl Maximowicz  in 1880, the plant was not introduced to cultivation until 1915, by Purdom and Farrer.  B. alternifolia was accorded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (record 674) in 1993.
Buddleja alternifolia, after Leeuwenberg
In his 1979 revision of the taxonomy of the African and Asiatic species of Buddleja, the Dutch botanist Anthonius Leeuwenberg sank two species, B. legendrei and B. tsetangensis, as B. alternifolia on the basis of the similarity in the individual flowers, dismissing the variations in plant structure, flower colour and leaf as attributable to environmental factors. It was Leeuwenberg's taxonomy which was adopted in the Flora of China published in 1996. Until DNA analysis can prove otherwise, it is this classification which is accepted here.
B. alternifolia is a vigorous deciduous shrub reaching 5 m (16 ft) tall with long, slender, pendulous stems. The leaves are alternate, entire, and lanceolate, 4–10 cm long by 0.6–1 cm wide, glabrous and dark green above. The inflorescences of the plants in cultivation are bright lilac-purple, and comprise flowers so densely crowded in clusters along the branch as to often obscure it. However, specimens from the Tsangpo valley in Tibet originally named B. tsetangensis by Marquand have creamy flowers. Flowering occurs in early summer; the flowers are fragrant, but less so than other buddlejas. 2n = 38.
The species has become very common in cultivation, a popular shrub for the larger garden, and is readily available from most garden centres in the UK. Fully hardy, it prefers a sunny position and loamy soil; pruning should immediately follow flowering. Like most buddlejas, the species is easily propagated from cuttings. Hardiness: RHS H5, USDA zones 7 – 9.
- "BSBI List 2007" (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Maximowicz, (1880). Bull. Acad. Pétersb. xxvi. 494. 1880.
- Bean, W. J. (1917). Trees and shrubs hardy in Great Britain, 7th edition. Murray, London.
- Leeuwenberg, A. J. M. (1979) The Loganiaceae of Africa XVIII Buddleja L. II, Revision of the African & Asiatic species. Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen, Nederland.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Buddleja alternifolia". Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "RHS AGM Listing May 2013 (Ornamentals)". Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Li, P-T. & Leeuwenberg, A. J. M. (1996). Loganiaceae, in Wu, Z. & Raven, P. (eds) Flora of China, Vol. 15. Science Press, Beijing, and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, USA. online at www.efloras.org
- Chen, G, Sun, W-B, & Sun, H. (2007). Ploidy variation in Buddleja L. (Buddlejaceae) in the Sino - Himalayan region and its biogeographical implications. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 2007, 154, 305 – 312. The Linnean Society of London.
- Stuart, D. D. (2006). Buddlejas. RHS Plant Collector Guide. Timber Press, Oregon. ISBN 978-0-88192-688-0.
- Hillier & Sons. (1977). Hilliers' Manual of Trees and Shrubs. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, UK
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Buddleja X wardii C. Marquand has been named for what is probably a hybrid between B alternifolia and B. crispa (C. Marquand, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 48: 203. 1929). This hybrid species has been collected in SE Xizang and has the following characteristics: Shrubs 1--5 m tall. Branchlets stellate tomentose, glabrescent. Leaves opposite or alternate; leaf blade elliptic to subelliptic, 0.5--5 X 0.3--2 cm, shortly stellate tomentose, margin repand-crenate, apex acuminate to acute. Inflorescences cymose, 1.5--2 cm in diam. Calyx campanulate, tube ca. 2 mm; lobes triangular, 0.5--0.7 mm, outside densely stellate tomentose. Corolla lilac, with an orange throat, tube 6--7 X 1--1.5 mm. Stamens inserted at middle of corolla tube, included. Ovary subglobose, ca. 1 mm in diam., stellate tomentose. Style longer than ovary. Capsules subellipsoid, ca. 5 mm in diam., stellate tomentose.
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