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Buttonbush

( Cephalanthus occidentalis )

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Buttonbush
Common Buttonbush
Button Willow
Button Ball
Rubiaceae
Cephalanthus
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Linnaeus
Cephalanthus occidentalis var. californicus
Cephalanthus occidentalis var. pubescens
Characteristics

Shrub

Deciduous

4

Partial Shade, Shade

Clay, Sand, Loam

Moist, Wet

No

No

No

No
Habitat Considerations

Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Mixedwood Plains

Riparian, Swamp/Marsh, Bog/Fen

Pond Edge/Wetland Garden, Pond/Standing Water
Design Considerations

0 cm

360 cm

Jul - Sep

White/Cream|Pink

Yes

Yes

Brown

Yes

Yes


Yes


Yes


Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies, Bees

No
Conservation Status

No


Interesting Tidbits

Buttonbush is a handsome ornamental suited to wet soils and is also a honey plant. Ducks and other water birds and shorebirds consume the seeds. The poisonous foliage of this abundant and widespread species is unpalatable to livestock. (Wildflower Centre, Lady Bird Johnson) It is also valuable for controlling erosion of shorelines. (USDA PLANTS) Habitat Information: This plant is usually found in a wet situations in various wetland habitats. It likes full sun, but tolerates some shade. (Evergreen) Garden Uses: The flowers are showy, fragrant white balls and which in turn produce interesting seedheads; good for gardens where the soil is moist to wet most of the time. Does not tolerate drought. To be water conservation friendly, this plant is a great choice in moist and wet gardens. Great for full sun or part shade pond gardens, great at the outflow of a residential downspout, or for use in bioswales or stormwater ponds, where water is captured and held to create periodic or constant wet conditions. Insect Relationships: Long-tongue bees and skipper butterflies are drawn to the nectar. (Illinois Wildflowers) Traditional First Nation's Medicinal Uses: CAUTION since this plant contains a glucoside. TOXIC in large doses, it can cause convulsions, spasms, vomiting, muscular paralysis. It was a popular First Nation medicinal plant. Bark was used for a tea to remedy menstrual flow, for fevers, kidney stones, pleurisy. Decoctions were made from leaves or bark to treat numerous ailments, everything from diarrhea, constipation...to toothache. (Plants for a Future)


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