Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)

Zone: 5 to 9

Soil: sand to clay

Light: Full sun to part sun

Bloom colour: Yellow

Bloom period: Mid-summer

Height: 6 to 10 feet

Moisture: Medium to wet

Attracts: A variety of bees, butterflies, birds and sphinx moths.

Notes: Buttonbush is an excellent shrub for a wildlife garden and it stands apart in so many ways. The plant flowers much later than most shrubs and it is an excellent mid-summer nectar source for a variety of insects. The seeds are eaten by several species of birds

The distinctive flowerheads are ball shaped and each individual flower has a style that protrudes well beyond the flowers. While the flowers tend to be short-lived, there are many flowerheads so the blooming period lasts about a month. The shrub also has beautiful foliage with decent sized glossy leaves. It cannot be confused with any other shrub once it starts flowering.

In the wild, Buttonbush is found in or near wetlands. It will grow in a nice garden loam soil with regular watering. The soil cannot be allowed to dry out. Typically, the plant is around 6 feet tall, but it can become more like a small tree. Some pruning will help you get the shape and size that you want.



Cephalanthus occidentalis has beautiful foliage
Buttonbush flower
Ball shaped flowerheads of Buttonbush
Buttonbush with bumblebee