Buttonbush

Cephalanthus occidentalis -- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Native to Florida

TOXIC TO LIVESTOCK - See Poisonous Pasture Plants of Florida (UF-IFAS Bookstore Pub SP 457) by B.A. Sellers and J.A. Ferrell. 2010.

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Video Transcript

Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis
Buttonbush grows as a shrub or small tree. It typically grows to 10 or 20 feet tall. This plant is deciduous, losing its leaves for 1 or 2 months in winter. Buttonbush occurs in swamps, ponds, and stream banks throughout Florida. It flowers from early spring to late summer. Buttonbush is named for its ball-like clusters of small white flowers around fruits. Flower balls can be an inch or more across. Flower balls dangle from stalks that can be several inches long. The fruit is a dense ball containing many nutlets. Buttonbush leaves are elliptic, tapering to pointed tips. They can be 6 inches long. Leaves are arranged oppositely on the stem. Leaf bases are rounded to tapering. As buttonbush becomes older, its bark becomes rough and bumpy.

Buttonbush is a native shrub or small tree with

  • ball-like flower clusters
  • pointed leaves to 6 inches long
  • opposite leaves

buttonbush View the herbarium specimen image of the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.