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Sunday - May 24, 2015

From: Monrovia, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Growing Buttonbush in California
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

For the Buttonbush, how do you keep it consistently moist?

ANSWER:

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is a wonderful native shrub with a unique cluster of flowers in a ball shape. Here's some of what we have online in the Native Plant Database ...

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.

In a native habitat, buttonbush grows along the edge of ponds and streams where the soil is consistently moist. It is possible to sucessfully grow buttonbush in a home garden without a pond or stream by planting it in a low area that collects water runoff, plant it in a rain garden, install underground drip irrigation and in all cases use mulch to conserve moisture.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

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