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Common Buttonbush
Rubiaceae
Cephalanthus occidentalis


Thunder
Thunder
Flower Petal # 4
Main Color    
Color 2    
Type Categories Useful Parts

Shrub




Rubiaceae Family

Cephalanthus Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Button-bush, Button-willow, Honeyballs, Honey-bells, globe-flower, and riverbush


Location

Native to Eastern North America from Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Minnesota and California

Physical Description
Growing to 2 to 10 meters (rarely 15 meters) tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three, elliptic to ovate, 7 to 20 centimeters long and 3 to 7 broad, with a smooth edge and a short petiole. The flowers are arranged in a dense spherical inflorescence about 3 centimeters in diameter on a short penduncle. Each flower has a fused white to pale yellow four-lobed corolla forming a long slender tube connecting to the sepals. The stigma protrudes slightly from the corolla. The fruit is a spherical cluster of nutlets


Compare Species
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Rubiaceae
Gentianales
Gentianales
Euasterids I
Euasterids I
Real Stars Group One
Asteridae
Asteridae
Class of Stars (Daisies)
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

It was cultivated as early as 1735 as a honey plant.
A decoction of the inner bark was used by Native Americans as an emetic. The bark was also used as a substitute for quinine. The Choctaw and Seminole peoples used decoctions of buttonbush bark for treating several internal maladies including diarrhea and stomach aches.
Medicinal Uses: Buttonbush was often employed medicinally by native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a range of ailments. It is little used in modern Herbalism. A tea made from the bark is astringent, emetic, febrifuge and tonic. A strong decoction has been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery, stomach complaints, hemorrhages etc. It has been used as a wash for eye inflammations. A decoction of either the roots or the fruits have been used as a laxative to treat constipation The leaves are astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic and tonic. A tea has been used to check menstrual flow and to treat fevers, kidney stones, pleurisy etc. The plant has a folk reputation for relieving malaria. The inner bark has been chewed in the treatment of toothaches
Butterflies and insects find the nectar irresistible. The nutlike seeds are eaten by many waterfowl and many types of birds use it as a nesting site.
It is a larval host for Titan sphinx moth (Aellopos titan) and the Hydrangea Sphinx (Darapsa versicolor).
Waterfowl and other birds eat the seeds, the Wood Duck utilizes the plant as nest protection, deer browse the foliage, and insects and hummingbirds take the nectar, with bees using it to make honey.
In large doses is toxic due to presence of bitter glycosides, cephalin, and cephalanthin. Symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, convulsions, chronic spasms, and muscular paralysis. It effects humans and cattle. Deer eat it with no ill effect.




Common Buttonbush
Old flowers and youn blossom with leaves





Common Buttonbush
Flowerheads and leaves

Comment: Common Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis

Page Posts: 1

gardengeek
gardengeek
June 15, 2010
I've never seen one of those. Great descriptive shots!

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