Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Buttonbush
Give a thumbs up Common Buttonbush
Give a thumbs up Honey Bells
Give a thumbs up Honeyball
Give a thumbs up Button Bush
Give a thumbs up Western Buttonbush
Give a thumbs up Button Willow

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 6 to 12 feet (1.8-3.7m) infrequently to 20 feet. Averages 10 x 10 feet in the wild.
Plant Spread: 4 to 8 feet (1.2-2.4m). Spreads more when in the wild.
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: White
Other: Pale Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Water gardens
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Other Beneficial Insects: moths
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Flood Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Other: Foliage is toxic to humans and livestock.
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Other info: seeds will germinate promptly without treatment
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Other: softwood cuttings in late July-Aug root easily
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Image

The Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP MembersThe Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP Members
March 15, 2014

Here's a report of the most popular water garden plants from our database!

(Full article14 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: ILDate: 2018-07-04
By molanic
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Location: Savannah, Georgia, USADate: 2013-06-23Each individual flower is tiny.
By greene
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Location: ILDate: 2015-07-14#Pollination Grapeleaf Skeletonizer (Harrisina americana) Moth
By molanic
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Location: ILDate: 2016-07-08#Pollination Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) Moth on Butto
By molanic
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2012-08-20
By jmorth
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Location: Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CaliforniaDate: 2014-05-18
By Kelli
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Date: 2009-08-25Credit Alexey Sergeev
By admin
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Image
By molanic
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Location: Jefferson County, TexasDate: 2016-05-31#Pollination
By Horntoad
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Date: 2011-08-05
By Lucichar
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2010-08-13
By jmorth
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Location: Fort Worth Nature Center.Date: Summer 2010This plant is a must have for the butterfly garden.
By frostweed
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2012-08-20#pollination
By jmorth
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Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PADate: 2019-01-31looking at bark inside shrub
By ILPARW
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2010-08-06
By jmorth
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USFW
By SongofJoy
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Location: E. Bandera Co., TexasDate: June 2013Buttonbush blooming by a creek
By LindaTX8
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Location: Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CaliforniaDate: 2014-05-18
By Kelli
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Location: Los Angeles Arboretum, Arcadia, CaliforniaDate: 2014-05-18
By Kelli
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Location: ILDate: 2014-06-23
By molanic
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Location: ILDate: 2015-07-16In wettest part of rain garden -  with joe pye weed, common milkw
By molanic
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Location: Indiana  Zone 5Date: 2012-07-25
By gardengus
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Location: Indiana zone 5Date: 2015-02-13covered in snow
By gardengus
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Date: 8/17/2013
By molanic
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Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PADate: 2016-06-15full-grown shrub in summer near pond
By ILPARW
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Location: Chesterbrook, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-09-04a mass planted in gulley along a parking lot
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-06-01a wild shrub along a pond
By ILPARW
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Location: Romeoville, IllinoisDate: 2012-08-20mature shrub planted at a history museum
By ILPARW
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Location: in a bog near Indiana Dunes State ParkDate: 2016-07-16a mature wild plant in bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PADate: 2014-09-29the trunks of a very old and big specimen
By ILPARW
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Location: Montreal Botanical GardenDate: 2016-07-04
By sooby
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Location: ILDate: 2018-07-04Just loaded with blooms and covered with tiny pollinators.
By molanic
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Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PADate: 2019-01-31a few shrub along a creek
By ILPARW
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This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 17, 2015 8:54 PM

This plant nearly always grows in wetlands or moist areas. In Florida, that usually means swamps and wetlands, but in West Virginia I've seen it growing right on the edge of a small lake. Wherever I've seen it, it is an absolute butterfly magnet. It attracts the larger Swallowtails, the smaller Skippers, and everything in between. It generally blooms in May in Florida, but when I visited West Virginia it was blooming in July.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 22, 2012 7:32 PM

Honey bees get nectar from this plant which produces a light amber honey.

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Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Jul 26, 2014 5:27 AM

Successfully grown from seed using the winter sown method.
Produced white ''buttons'' 2nd year and is 4 ft tall and covered in blooms this (3rd) year
Very attractive to butterflies and many other insects.
I noticed that all the leaves fell within 6 hours after our first frost.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 30, 2017 4:09 PM

A nice native shrub usually of medium to large size with stout twigs and stems. It has a large range from Southeast Canada and Maine down all through Florida to east Texas up to southern Minnesota; plus some areas in northern Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, and California; growing in swamps, bogs, along watercourses, along ponds and lakes, and bottomlands in acid or alkaline soils. Grows about 1.5 feet/year. Shallow, fibrous root system and is easy to transplant. Offered by some large, diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries, but not common in most yards or landscapes, unless naturalistic ones or planted in land preserves.

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Plant Events from our members
Chillybean On September 26, 2015 Obtained plant
Put in the ground in our wet area.
MunchkinsMom On April 2, 2016 Miscellaneous Event
About 15" tall, leafing out
MunchkinsMom On November 4, 2015 Transplanted
Front Half Moon Area
MunchkinsMom On November 2, 2015 Obtained plant
Dogwooderitternet eBay $5.95 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" Pot 5" or 6" Dormant
piksihk On November 17, 2015 Obtained plant
wildflowers - seeds
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
The time has come, the time is now... by frankrichards16 Oct 1, 2018 10:46 PM 9
Shrub or Perennial for Shade by claired May 30, 2018 5:56 PM 1
what is good for wet shade under trees also tall by dana Mar 23, 2018 4:30 PM 3
blooming in Dec by Strever Dec 18, 2017 5:05 PM 21
Looking for seeds of Echium simplex for SASE or trade... by wcgypsy Dec 4, 2017 6:37 PM 0
Unusual white puff bloom on bush by Krysia22 Jul 21, 2017 5:20 PM 2
plant with spherical flower by Muddy1 Jul 10, 2017 8:08 AM 2
What is this plant? by Alv3663 May 16, 2017 5:02 AM 3
? by HamiltonSquare Aug 23, 2016 2:52 PM 7
What plant is this? by bwv998 Aug 4, 2016 5:19 PM 3

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