Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: medium, high
Soil Moisture: moist, wet
Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, rich, average, poor, loam, clay, sand
Bloom Time: June, July, August, September
Bloom Color: white, pink
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, bog plant, fragrant flowers, medicinal, pond margin plant, salt tolerant, showy fruit, stream margin plant, swamp plant, water garden plant
Pricing & Availability
Cephalanthus occidentalisAlso known as:
Cephalanthus occidentalis is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub growing 6 to 12 feet tall. It can occasionally grow to 20 feet and may also be considered a small tree. The glossy, green leaves are lance-shaped and up to 6" long. The flowers are its most striking feature. They form dense, whitish, ping pong-like clusters up to 2" in diameter. Extending white styles give them a unusual, pincushion-like appearance. Blooms are fragrant and long lasting. These give way to ball-like fruit that persist well into winter.
Common buttonbush is a shrub native to wetland environments, swamps, floodplains, marshes and bogs. It can thrive under permanent inundation of up to 12" of water. It does well under dryer conditions, so long as the soil is not allowed to dry out for extended periods of time. Shrubs may be pruned in early spring to maintain a compact form. They may also be cut back hard, close to the ground to revitalize. It will tolerate shade conditions but blooms best with more sun. Blooms are long lasting and may appear as early as June and persist as late as September, depending on geographic location. Zones 4-10
Propagate from seed. No pretreatment necessary.
Due to its ability to grow in standing water, and its tolerance of salt, Cephalanthus occidentalis is ideal for wetland restoration and shoreline erosion control. The flowers will attract bees and butterflies. The seeds are sought after by a variety of birds and waterfowl. The bark and roots have been used in traditional medicine to relieve a host of ailments, ranging from toothaches, to rheumatism, diarrhea and muscle inflammation.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
|Species||Cephalanthus occidentalis||common buttonbush|