A Wonderful & Versatile Native Shrub


We planted this wonderful native down on our dry weather creek for bank stability.  This plant likes/needs wet feet, and is perfect for the task.  This is the Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis.  It can grow to 18′ tall and 10′ wide in full sun.  The blossom looks like a button, as you can see and attracts all the pollinators; look for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to come to it once established.  It is particularly favored by our native bees.  The plant is deciduous, but in my experience, some stems freeze back to the ground. The plant recovers each year to bloom in the summer.  I found that used in a pond environment, any submerged portion will provide habitat for amphibians, reptiles, ducks, and fish.  Some 25 species of birds eat the seeds.  A native worth planting by our creeks and ponds.

Common Buttonbush down at the creek; Photo by D.Burrows, June 2013
Buttonbush down at the creek; Photo by D.Burrows, June 2013

This picture shows the “button” later in the season, about to go to seed.

2 Replies to “A Wonderful & Versatile Native Shrub”

  1. The correct common name for this plant is Buttonbush. To be sure, this particular plant has some 17 other common names, such as Common Buttonbush. That is why the botanical scientific name for identification is so important. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/nativeshrubs/cephalanthusoccident.htm

    I planted this large shrub in my yard in Houston some 15 years ago and it has settled in at about 10′ tall, by 8′ wide. I do trim it in the late winter; how much depends on how cold it got. But, it does, indeed, have many visitors.

  2. I was not aware of this plant and enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for bringing “new” information to Oakridge!

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