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Wednesday - May 20, 2015

From: Monrovia, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Does Buttonbush Spread?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I live in Los Angeles County. Does Buttonbush spread via its roots/rhizomes? I've got a picture I could send in a reply. Gotta know if it's, what I see, a part of the buttonbush.

ANSWER:

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) does indeed spread and become a multistem shrub as long as it is near water. Here's what is on our webpage.

Common buttonbush is a multi-stemmed shrub which grows 6-12 ft. or occasionally taller. Leaves in pairs or in threes, petiolate; blade up to 8 inches long, ovate to narrower, sometimes 1/3 or less as wide as long, with a pointed tip and rounded to tapered base, smooth margins and glossy upper surface, lower surface duller. Glossy, dark-green leaves lack significant fall color. Flowers small, borne in distinctive, dense, spherical clusters (heads) with a fringe of pistils protruded beyond the white corollas. Long-lasting, unusual blossoms are white or pale-pink, one-inch globes. Subsequent rounded masses of nutlets persist through the winter. Trunks are often twisted. Spreading, much-branched shrub or sometimes small tree with many branches (often crooked and leaning), irregular crown, balls of white flowers resembling pincushions, and buttonlike balls of fruit.

Buttonbush is a handsome ornamental suited to wet soils and is also a honey plant. Ducks and other water birds and shorebirds consume the seeds.

Common buttonbush is a spreading, multi-branched shrub or sometimes small tree with many branches (often crooked and leaning), irregular crown, balls of white flowers resembling pincushions, and buttonlike balls of fruit. Buttonbush is a handsome ornamental suited to wet soils and is also a honey plant. Ducks and other water birds and shorebirds consume the seeds.

The USDA has additional information about Cephalanthus occidentalis on their webpage.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

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