Button Bush / Cephalanthus occidentalis
Family: Madder / Rubiaceae
Characteristics: Button Bush is a deciduous flowering shrub with medium texture and medium growth rate. It has an open, rounded form with spreading branches. The flowers are round, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and fragrant. The flowers look like creamy-white balls covered with fiber optic tubes. They appear from June to August. Fruit are hard, round, reddish-brown capsules, containing 2 to 4 nutlets. This is an unusual-looking plant in flower and fruit.
Landscape uses: Use Buttonbush as a specimen plant or in group plantings adjacent to ponds, streams, or in other moist areas. It prefers full sun and moist to wet soils. Cut the plant back heavily every few years to rejuvenate because young stems are the most attractive.
Size: Fifteen to 20 feet with a spread of 10 to 15 feet
Zones: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Habitat: Sunny, wet, marshy areas, shrubby swamps, and pond edges.
Native to: New Brunswick to Florida, west to Southern Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arizona. Also found in southern New Mexico and Southern California.