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Native Shrubs in Wildlife Landscaping

Buttonbush
Buttonbush

Good Food and Cover

Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis

Form:
Shrub 3 to 9 feet tall. Coarse branching habit.

Bark:
Twigs reddish-brown becoming grayish-brown.

Leaves:
Deciduous, simple, opposite or occasionally in whorls of 3, 3 to 6 inches long.

Flowers:
June-August. White, borne in showy round heads slightly over 1 inch in diameter.

Fruits:
Dry seeds clustered in a head, greenish or red tinged in early autumn, disintegrating as winter approaches.

WV Range:
Probably in every county.

Natural Habitat:
Swamps and stream margins.

Wildlife Use:
Flowers attract bees, butterflies and moths. Deer browse the foliage and twigs. Ducks, especially the mallard, eat the seeds.

Horticulture:
Uses: Shrub border and for naturalizing in wet sites. Light: Medium to full sun. Soil Moisture: Wet to moist. Soil pH: Acid to neutral. Problems: Short lived and loses its form after a few years and must be cut back to let resprout.

Compiled by Brian McDonald, botanist, coordinator Natural Heritage Program. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins , West Virginia

Written by West Virginia Native Plant Society members and jointly published with the WV Wildlife Diveristy Program


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