Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Cephalanthus occidentalis is known by the common names Buttonbush or Common Buttonbush. At Fort Yargo State Park, bushes grow along the edge of the lake at the dam (segment 5) and in several places at the Fishing Area (segments 12, 13). These bushes can grow to 15 feet tall; the bushes at Fort Yargo State Park are only 4 to 5 feet tall. Unfortunately most of these were cut back during the construction last year and haven’t grown back properly yet. It begins to bloom in mid June.

A flower head just beginning to develop. The leaves are still tender and lime green.

The floret buds are developing. The leaves have hardened and are a deeper green.

The flower head in bloom.

A branch showing the opposite leaf arrangement as well as flower heads at the tip.

Fruits developing in early October. These should turn red-brown as they ripen.

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common Buttonbush) is native to the United States and Canada. It grows in most eastern states – as far west as Minnesota to Texas as well as California and Arizona. It grows in all Canadian provinces from Ontario east.

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Distribution Map:
- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common Buttonbush)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Cephalanthus occidentalis

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Cephalanthus occidentalis (Buttonbush)

- Missouri Plants: Cephalanthus occidentalis

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index

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