Button Bush

August 22, 2016 admin

Botanical Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis

Height: 6-12′
Width: 4-8′
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
Performance: Perennial
Bloom: White (June-August)

Cute as a button, Cephalanthus occidentalis is one exotic flowering ornamental shrub. It’s extremely beneficial, yet underutilized in north Texas. In June, clusters of small chartreuse globes give way to slightly fragrant showy white ball-shaped flower heads, each with a hundred tiny white tubular flowers with elongated pistils give a striking far out appeal.
In north Texas, Buttonbush is a deciduous shrub that can reach up to 10-12’ tall. Naturally, it has an open-rounded habit with lush green foliage and contrasting bright red stems. Trim in late fall or early spring to create a tree-like shape or a smaller and tidier mounding shrub.
C. occidentalis can be found growing wild along water, near water, or even in water, and is adaptable to a wide range of soils. It’s the perfect perennial for a large space with poor drainage. Spring flood rains will not harm this tough Texas native. It is said that it can withstand 3’ of water. It can take dry soil but provide it with water in the heat of summer.  
Buttonbush is not only ornamental, but is valuable to wildlife and the environment. In summer, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are highly attracted to its nectar. The flowers fade in autumn and the fruit begins to ripen to a deep red color. As the leaves fall the seeds turn brown and become a food source for more than 25 bird species. Buttonbush also helps prevent erosion.