Tree of the week: Buddleja auriculata – Weeping Sage – Treursalie – Utile

Also known as the Weeping sage, Buddleja auriculata is an evergreen tree with an informal shrub-like structure. It either grows as a multi-stemmed, densely bush shrub or small tree. This tree is found growing naturally in rocky ravines, on mountain slopes or at forest margins in mountainous parts of the country. B. auriculata can survive low temperatures of up to -5°C.

This weeping small tree or shrub has beautiful glossy foliage, the leaves are dark green on top and silver underneath. Leaves opposite, varying in size even on the same branch. The bark is pale brown and wrinkled. From July to August, the tree bears sweetly scented cream, orange or pinkish flowers which appear on the tree in July (mid-winter) to September (spring). These flowers attract insect-eating birds and many pollinating insects including butterflies to the garden. After flowering, the fruit appears in a creamy brown capsule that splits at the tip.

The Weeping sage is normally used for hedging or as a windbreak. For a neater look, the tree needs to be pruned lightly in spring after flowering. It grows well in full sun or partial shade and is tolerant of dry sites.

Information sourced from Sun Gardens