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Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common Name(s):

  • Buttonbush
Phonetic Spelling
sef-ah-LAN-thus ock-sih-den-TAH-liss
Description

Cephalanthus occidentalis, commonly called the Buttonbush is a somewhat coarse, deciduous shrub with an open-rounded habit that typically grows 6-12’ (infrequently to 20’) tall. Its bark is thin and smooth on young trees.  The bark becomes fissured and scaly as the tree ages.

It is an attractive deciduous native shrub in the Rubiaceae family.  It grows well in wet sites including flooded areas and is effective in helping stop erosion.  It is frequently found growing in low areas, thickets, river basions, pond edges, and swamps.  It would work well planted in a rain garden or in a pond or water garden. Is a spreading well branched shrub with yellow fall color.  The foliage is poisonous to livestock. Prune severely every year in the early spring for best flower production.  Its flowers are fragrant and followed by a showy fruit.

Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom: Late Summer  Fruit: Fall-Winter, Nutlets

Wildlife Value:  The Buttonbush is highly resistant to damage from deer.  Flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.  Songbirds and water fowl eat the seeds.

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#deciduous#fall color#birds#pollinators#songbirds#water garden#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#riparian#tsc#showy fruit#ducks#fall interest#wetlands#erosion control#wet sites#low flammability#swamps#ponds#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#deciduous#fall color#birds#pollinators#songbirds#water garden#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#riparian#tsc#showy fruit#ducks#fall interest#wetlands#erosion control#wet sites#low flammability#swamps#ponds#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cephalanthus
    Species:
    occidentalis
    Family:
    Rubiaceae
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    White
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil