Buttonbush has blooms that are rich in nectar and attract butterflies and other pollinators.
Cephalanthus occidentalis aka buttonbush, button-willow and honey bells can handle excessive moisture. Seeds are eaten by ducks and numerous other water birds. Fragrant honey smelling flowers attract pollinators. Provides excellent nesting area for songbirds. Deer resistant.
Leaves: Glossy bright to dark green foliage that turns golden yellow in the fall.
Stem/Bark: Gray-brown, not showy.
Flower: Very fragrant tiny creamy white flowers in a dense 1″ diameter ball cluster on stalks. Blooms July-Aug.
Fruit/Nut: Flower heads turn to brown seed clusters/ nutlets in the fall that persist through the winter.
Habit: Rounded multi-stemmed shrub.
Hardiness: Zone 5
Height: 3’ – 8’
Width: 3’ – 6’
Why grow native plants?
A native plant is defined as a species of fauna that was already established before colonization. There are numerous benefits to the use of native plants. Native plants have grown and evolved in a given area for generations and therefore are more prepared to face the elements. As a result they are much hardier and less finicky to care for. The wildlife in the area has also evolved along side these plants, and because of this has formed bonds with them. Most butterflies have a specific plant species from which they collect nectar for their offspring.
There are many birds that will feed directly from local trees for seed, nectar or fruit, but won’t use the bird feeder you’ve bought to attract them. These plants also work together to grow as natural plant communities. Most of the trees won’t grow their leaves until after the wildflowers have had an adequate amount of time to flower before they’re covered by shade. Finally, of course, there is the fact that all of these plants and animals combine to make a sustainable, complete, functioning ecosystem. Why fight thousands of years of evolution?
Have questions about native plants? Post a comment Ian will get back to you.