Buddleja crispa × B. loricata. Shrub 0.5–1.5 m tall with a similar spread; dense, bushy habit. Branchlets subterrete to flattened oval, tomentose to floccose. Leaves evergreen, opposite, short petioles up to 3 mm; leaf-blade narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, up to 4–8 × 1–2.5 cm; upper surface rugose, both surfaces with dense indumentum; base attenuate, apex acute; margin crenate and crisped. Inflorescence consisting of approximately 50 flowers, terminal, paniculate, up to 8.5 × 7 cm. Flowers honey-scented, corolla four-lobed, 6–7.5 mm diameter, white with a yellow throat. Corolla tube 3–4 mm long, cylindrical, exterior and interior pubescent. Anthers, 1 × 0.5 mm inserted just below corolla mouth on short (2 mm) filaments. Pistil up to 4 mm long with stigma presented at corolla mouth; ovary present, covered by floccose indumentum, 1.5 × 1 mm wide. Flowering August to September (UK), flowers sterile. (US PP017332; pers. obs.).
USDA Hardiness Zone 7-9
RHS Hardiness Rating H4
A cross made in 1994 by Peter Moore of the Longstock Nursery (Hampshire, UK) between Buddleja crispa, a variable Asian species with a wide range across the Himalayan region, and Buddleja loricata, a South Africa species and one which is relatively distant phylogenetically from the Asian species (Chau et al. 2017). The hybrid was released in the early 2000s and is often sold in the UK under the trade-name SILVER ANNIVERSARY™. Subsequently, it was introduced into North America and a plant patent granted in 2007 (US PP017332).
‘Morning Mist’ is a small shrub with intensely silver foliage inherited from B. crispa. The leaves are similar in shape to B. loricata, except the margins are more crenate. The young branches are covered in woolly hairs (tomentose to floccose), and the old wood has peeling grey-brown fissured bark. The late-summer inflorescences are very like those of B. loricata, and are in terminal panicles of white flowers with mustard-yellow centres. The flowers have a fine, honeyed fragrance and are long-lasting as they are sterile.
Suitable for growing in both containers and the herbaceous border, ‘Morning Mist’ is striking for its unique foliage. It’s evergreen and reasonably hardy down to at least –10ºC, but, given its parentage, is far more susceptible to wet winters and root-rot due to waterlogged soil. It may be hard pruned in the spring, which will result in fresh silver foliage, and will grow strongly through the summer months before flowering late in the season (Moore 2020; pers. obs.).