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
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
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
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
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
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Common names
  • Buttonbush
  • Common Buttonbush
  • Honey Bells
  • Button Bush
  • Honeyball
  • Western Buttonbush
  • Button Willow

This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 17, 2015 8:54 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by mmolyson (Lilburn, GA - Zone 7b) on Jun 22, 2020 9:41 AM concerning plant:
    This wonderful shrub resists most things except beavers. If yours is in a wetland or near a river like mine and you do not have one to spare consider wrapping the trunk with hardware cloth. I lost my only one to the beaver family which was expanding. I certainly don't mind sharing other hardwoods that I have in abundance, but my ONLY buttonbush? That's just mean. They also took one of my two Eastern red cedars, but it is coming back strong from the stump, thank goodness for good root systems!
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 22, 2012 7:32 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get nectar from this plant which produces a light amber honey.
  • Posted by sedumzz (Your local refrigerator - Zone 7a) on Dec 8, 2021 2:28 PM concerning plant:
    This shrub grows well near ponds, rivers, and lakes.

    In a garden area these grow up to 4-5 feet tall, but sometimes, without pruning in the wild can end up 6-7-8 feet tall.

    If you find leaves curled over like a burrito, it might be a catepillar. (Pollinator butterfly ones..... I forgot what butterfly the Buttonbush hosted)
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Nov 30, 2017 4:09 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Jul 26, 2014 5:27 AM concerning plant:
    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.
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
WebTucker On August 22, 2022 Bloomed
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