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Buddleja ( Buddlia ) Super plant of the future ?

Please forgive me for what maybe an obsession, but I have always been fascinated and in awe of the prolific Buddleja ( Buddlia ) bushes / trees that I have a skill for noticing, where they grow in the most inhospitable and bizarre locations, railway bridges, rooftops, chimneys, multi-storey car parks, wasteland and any uncultivated barren horizontal or vertical surfaces, it does not appear to care at all.

​​​​​​​How do they survive and thrive with so little water, nutrients and zero care ?

This plant just does not appear to mind where it gets the initial tiny foothold to grow and flourish which always impresses me, given the great lengths in comparison for growing any plant in a garden, greenhouse or farmers field. Huge amounts of time, research, education and technology are devoted to growing  crops and plants, yet the buddleja just excels in the face any hostile conditions.

This makes me wonder if there is scientific research that looks at the buddleja and how it may help with food cultivation, farming or may I suggest GMC  work, because if I grew any plants like tomatoes as example, that were as resilient as buddleja plants, I would probably never go hungry and most likely be a very rich man, spending no time sourcing suitable land or tending the crops.

I have never seen a sick looking buddlja plant, but i have seen it destroy brick and concrete and I have spent many hours cutting them back,  hacking down and digging them out with much effort involved, so they have my utmost admiration!  Oh, yes they are often very nice colourful plants too that tolerate agressive pruning and give back amazing floral displays.

 I am sure that this has been researched by somebody, but would be fascinated by your thoughts and any answers to my theoretical scenario / question

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  • They also have good years when in full colour, and bad years when the flowers don't last at all. It really is a miracle how they grow almost anywhere and appear to require so little nourishment. Personally, I'm not a fan. I associate them with growing in the rubble of demolished streets and with neglected areas. I wish other shrubs grew as easily though.

  • If the boffins were unable to modify Buddleia for food, maybe those big buds could be tweaked to have a medicinal purpose, or for bio fuel

    • PRO

      You can only admire the way they have learned to adapt  , Perhaps the butterflies they attract know their secret . 

      Amusing though the random sites they choose to make a sudden guest appearance such as car parks , down alleyways  and their love of railway sidings . 

       

  • If it's vigour you're after, you can't beat bamboo.  That has real potential in terms of combating desertification, and for carbon capture.

  • PRO

    Thanks for the replies folks, I had to smile yesterday when I was near the local Town hall which is a rather ornate building with leaded roof and to my surprise, the roof was pretty well covered ( yes actually looked like a plot of woodland )  in Buddlia and possible some silver birch, all doing rather well on a building that sits in the centre of town and apparantly is well maintained, or perhaps not.

  • annoying thing about buddlia is difficulty keeping it compact and still getting flowers.

    • The Buzz series is really good.  About half the vigour of most types so easy to keep to 6', and really free flowering.

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