Print This Page



COMMON NAMES: Buttonbush, Common Buttonbush, Button-Willow, Honeyball and Honeybells.


BOTANICAL NAME: Cephalanthus occidentalis


PRONUNCIATION: sef-ah-LAN-thus ox-eh-DEN-tal-is


FAMILY: Rubiaceae or Coffee Family


HEIGHT: 10 - 12 feet


SPREAD: 10 - 12 feet


SPACING: 6 - 8 feet


TYPE: Deciduous - Sun / Part Shade




HABIT: White or pale pink summer flowers in 1”-2” globes. Fruit follow in heavy reddish brown clusters.  Hardy from zone 5 to 10.


CULTURE: Bush or small tree with round, fragrant pale pink to white flowers that bloom all summer in the sun, off and on in the shade. Easy to grow in wet soil and even in shallow water but adapts well to normal soils. Does not do well in dry soil.  


USES: Attracts bees, butterflies, and waterfowl.  Leaf-footed bugs like to be on this plant but don't seem to hurt it.





PROBLEMS: Few other than hard to find in the nursery trade.  Foliage is toxic and unpalatable to livestock.


OTHER INFORMATION: Native Americans used buttonbush for a number of medicinal purposes.  The root and bark were used to treat eye disorders, the bark was chewed to relieve toothaches and was boiled and used to treat headaches, dysentery, fevers, and stomachs.






  Search Library Topics      Search Newspaper Columns