Buddleia in Full Bloom but Very Few Butterflies

Update 5th August 2016: The buddleia started flowering a bit later this year than previously and is now approaching full bloom. Butterflies visiting the bush this morning (11.30am) include: half a dozen each of red admirals and peacocks; a few cabbage whites, one or two commas and some meadow browns. No painted ladies yet, and at the moment no tortoiseshells, though I have seen one or two earlier this summer. So the numbers are modest again this year, it seems.

Peacock Scarlet Admiral 5th August 2016

Note 19th July 2014: This post is now almost two years old. Because the butterfly numbers are far greater here where I live in Suffolk this year than when I wrote this piece, I published another a few days ago called  Buddleia Coming Up to Full Bloom and Lots of Butterflies in case you’d like to visit.

Original from 30th July 2012:

Every July the enormous buddleia in the middle of our garden throws out a huge array of blooms and on sunny days we’ve counted up to two hundred butterflies of different sorts making their nectar visit: Red Admirals, Peacocks, Painted Ladies, Large Whites, Commas, Tortoiseshells and others.

Image705 1024x768Just not this year. The bush has been in bloom for several days now with its characteristic scent, but there’s not a butterfly to be seen. This morning I saw a few meadow browns and a gatekeeper in other parts of the garden, but the buddleia remained lonely save a bumblebee or two.

In an article today in The Independent, Dr. Warren of the organisation Butterfly Conservation says this could be the worst summer ever for garden butterflies following two already ‘atrocious’ years.

I’m just about to complete the big butterfly count Butterfly Conservation are asking people to join in with – this involves 15 minutes observation in one place and then sending them the results.

Pics: California Poppies, Wild Carrot, Sunflowers and Buddleia – just no butterflies; Looking out for butterflies 30 July 2012


3 responses to this post.

  1. Same here – large buddleia in full bloom and virtually no butterflies, even when the sun does manage to shine…


    • Hi spinningwheel, A few more butterflies this morning, several commas, meadow browns, two gatekeepers and 2 large whites and some red admirals. Still terribly low numbers though. Lots of large bumblebees.


    • Mine too!!! Huge beautiful tree in full bloom, but not a butterfly insight. My grandchildren are so disappointed as we wait for it to blossom every year & then daily spot & count the butterflies, usually too many to count!! 😦


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