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Orange Ball Tree

Buddleja globosa

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort)
Semi-evergreen shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
4 metres tall
Gardens, mountains, parks, roadsides, scrub, seaside, wasteland.

Orange, 4 petals
The flowers of the Orange Ball Tree are one of its most distinctive features. The flowers are arranged in dense, spherical clusters, resembling orange balls, which gives the plant its common name. Each individual flower is tubular with four lobes and has a vibrant orange hue. The flower clusters are large and conspicuous, creating a striking visual impact. The fragrance of the flowers is sweet and honey-like, adding to their allure. These blossoms bloom in late spring to early summer, attracting pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The Orange Ball Tree is particularly valued in gardens for its showy and fragrant flowers, making it a popular choice for ornamental landscaping.
Buddleja globosa, commonly known as the Orange Ball Tree, produces small, spherical fruits. The fruits are typically about the size of a cherry and have a smooth texture. They are initially green, turning to a yellow-orange hue as they mature. The fruit contains numerous tiny seeds. While not typically consumed by humans, the fruits are attractive to birds, contributing to the plant's role in supporting local wildlife. The plant is more widely appreciated for its ornamental value, especially due to its eye-catching and fragrant orange ball-shaped flowers rather than its fruit.
The leaves of the Orange Ball Tree are lance-shaped and covered with a soft, grayish-green to silvery-white fuzz. The leaves are arranged oppositely along the stems and have a simple, entire margin. They are typically 5-20 cm long and 2-6 cm wide. The fuzzy texture of the leaves adds to the plant's ornamental appeal and contrasts with the vibrant orange ball-shaped flowers. The leaves remain evergreen in milder climates but may be semi-deciduous in colder regions. Overall, the foliage of Buddleja globosa contributes to the plant's distinctive and attractive appearance in garden settings.
The Orange Ball Tree is renowned for its delightful fragrance. The flowers of this plant emit a sweet and honey-like scent. The fragrance is often described as pleasant and attracts pollinators, particularly butterflies. The orange ball-shaped flowers, in addition to their visual appeal, contribute to the sensory experience of gardens and landscapes where Buddleja globosa is cultivated. The aromatic quality adds to the overall charm of this ornamental plant, making it a popular choice for those seeking fragrant additions to their outdoor spaces.
Other Names:
Chilean Orange Ball Tree, Matico, Orange Ball Buddleja, Round-headed Buddleia.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Buddleja globosa, commonly known as Orange Ball Tree or Orange Ball Buddleja, is a species of flowering shrub in the family Scrophulariaceae. It is native to Chile and Argentina. It grows to be around 4 meters tall and has a rounded habit, with long, narrow leaves that are green in color. The flowers are orange-yellow and are produced in spherical clusters at the ends of branches. They bloom in late spring to early summer. This plant is used as an ornamental plant for its attractive flowers and it attracts butterflies and other pollinators. It is tolerant to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions, and it is drought tolerant once established. It prefers full sun and well-drained soils.


If you're looking for a plant that will add a burst of color to your garden and attract butterflies and other pollinators, then the Orange Ball Tree (Buddleja globosa) is definitely worth considering. This shrub is native to the Andes mountains of South America but has become popular in gardens all over the world for its striking orange flowers.

The Orange Ball Tree is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 4 meters tall and wide, although it can be kept smaller with regular pruning. It has dark green leaves that are lance-shaped and grow up to 20cm long. The flowers of the Orange Ball Tree are the real stars of the show, though. They are spherical clusters of tiny, bright orange flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer.

One of the reasons the Orange Ball Tree is so popular with gardeners is because it is incredibly easy to grow. It is not fussy about soil type and will grow in anything from sandy to clay soils, as long as they are well-draining. The Orange Ball Tree also tolerates both sun and partial shade, although it will flower more profusely in full sun.

In terms of care, the Orange Ball Tree is fairly low-maintenance. It does not require much watering, especially once it is established, and it does not need much in the way of fertilizer either. The only real maintenance required is pruning. You should prune your Orange Ball Tree in early spring, before new growth appears. This will help to keep it compact and encourage more flowers.

As well as being a beautiful addition to your garden, the Orange Ball Tree also has some ecological benefits. The flowers are rich in nectar, which attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. This makes it an excellent choice if you are trying to create a pollinator-friendly garden.

The Orange Ball Tree has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples in the Andes for its medicinal properties. The leaves of the plant were used to treat wounds and infections, while the flowers were used to treat respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Although the plant has not been extensively studied for its medicinal properties, it is believed to contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The Orange Ball Tree also has cultural significance in some parts of South America. In Chile, it is known as "Matico" and is used in traditional Mapuche medicine. The Mapuche people believe that the plant has healing properties and use it to treat a variety of ailments.

If you are considering adding an Orange Ball Tree to your garden, it is important to note that the plant can be invasive in some areas. In regions where the climate is favorable, the Orange Ball Tree can spread rapidly and outcompete native vegetation. As such, it is recommended that you check with your local authorities before planting an Orange Ball Tree to ensure that it is not considered an invasive species in your area.

In conclusion, the Orange Ball Tree is a stunning shrub with a rich history and cultural significance. It is easy to grow, low-maintenance, and attracts pollinators, making it a great addition to any garden. However, it is important to ensure that the plant is not considered invasive in your area before planting it. With its striking orange flowers and ecological benefits, the Orange Ball Tree is definitely a plant worth considering.

Some Interesting Facts

Orange Ball Tree, also known as Buddleja globosa, is a species of flowering plant in the family Scrophulariaceae. Here are some facts about this tree:

  1. Buddleja globosa is native to Chile and Argentina, where it grows in the Andes Mountains.

  2. The plant is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 4 meters in height.

  3. It has large, spherical clusters of bright orange flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer.

  4. The flowers are highly fragrant and attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

  5. The leaves of the Orange Ball Tree are gray-green and slightly hairy, and they are arranged in an opposite pattern on the stem.

  6. The plant prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

  7. Orange Ball Tree is easy to grow and requires minimal maintenance, making it a popular choice for home gardens and landscaping.

In summary, Buddleja globosa is a beautiful and fragrant shrub native to South America that produces stunning spherical clusters of bright orange flowers that attract a variety of pollinators. It is easy to grow and low maintenance, making it a popular choice for home gardens and landscaping.


Video 1: The Orange Ball Tree filmed at Capernwray in Lancashire on the 16th June 2023.


Video 2: Orange Ball Tree filmed in Formby, Lancashire on the 4th June 2023.


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