Our Species of the Month for August is quite the unique looking specimen…we’d even venture to say it’s…cute as a button…Alright, that was a bad pun, but can you blame us? This month we’re taking a look at Buttonbush, or Cephalanthus occidentalis. This common, round plant works as a great cover for wildlife, and does exceptionally well in wet conditions.
Looks That Kill
Undeniably, the first thing you’ll notice about Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is its distinct look. The plant’s branches are initially green to red in colour but become woody and brown as it matures. Additionally, Buttonbush produces spherical flowerheads with projecting styles. The eye can’t help but linger on the uniquely bulbous flower. The plant can grow from five to twelve feet (1.5-3.6 metres), meaning it can range from a medium sized shrub to a small tree. It can also spread out to up to eight feet (2.4 metres) so if you’re looking to cover some ground, this might be the plant for you!
Some Like it Wet
Another reason we love the Buttonbush is its proclivity for wet conditions. Buttonbush thrives in medium to wet soil with full sun to partial shade. Not only does it do well in wet conditions, but the plant will tolerate flooding as well. This makes Buttonbush a prime candidate to plant around pond edges and water gardens.
A Pollinator’s Paradise
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is a huge hit amongst pollinators too! It’s a great food source and provides excellent cover for wildlife. The flowers attract butterflies, bees, and skippers. If that weren’t enough, waterfowl have also been known to feed on the flower’s seeds. In short, Buttonbush can take your water garden, and turn it into a beautiful birdbath!
Buttonbush is easily grown to boot. Once you’ve planted the seeds in moist soil, you can pretty much leave the plant to its own devices. On top of this, once it’s reached maturity, all you really have to do is ensure the soil remains wet, and your Buttonbush will stay healthy and happy.
If you’re looking to add a unique touch to your pond or water garden, then consider adding Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). When you fall in love with how it looks, it won’t be an…occident…Ok, last bad pun, we swear. For more information on this species, click HERE