Native Plant of the Week: Buttonbush ~ Cephalanthus occidentalis

Buttonbush ~ Cephalanthus occidentalis

Buttonbush is a beautiful native shrub of wetland and riparian edges, and other low lying moist locations. It is named for the 1'' wide, spherical shaped white flowers that emerge in late June to early July.

Buttonbush has dark green glossy leaves that are oppositely arranged. It prefers partial to full sun locations in medium to moist soils rich in humus in the home landscape.

It can reach heights of 12 feet, but is more commonly found around 6-8 feet. The flowers are fragrant and are sought out by many types of native bees.

The fruit is a spherical nutlet, which turns from green to rusty brown in color as it dries and matures.

Buttonbush is native to eastern North America as well as California and Arizona in the west. See map below for range.

Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.