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Plant Profile  
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Common Name: Buttonbush

Other Names: Honey-balls, Button Willow, Spanish Pin-cushion

Species Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis

Plant Type: Woody

Family Name: Rubiaceae, Madder Family

Note: Learn more about Buttonbush from Oklahoma Proven.





Plant Facts  
Origin Native
Duration Perennial
Distribution in the U.S. Eastern half and as far west as Nebraska, Kansas and Texas
Distribution in Oklahoma Throughout the state



ID Characteristics

  • Field Identification Characteristics


    • Leaves smooth; widest at the center and pointed
    • Leaves opposite or whorled; usually in groups of three on stem


    • Flowers become spherical brown to greenish-brown seed heads
    • Iconic, fuzzy white to cream spherical flower heads
  • Leaf and Stem Characteristics
    • Growth Form: Shrub
    • Leaf Type: Simple 
    • Leaf Arrangement: Whorled and/or opposite
    • Leaf Blade Edge: Entire
    • Leaf Blade Length: 6-15 centimeters
  • Floral Characteristics
    • Petal Number: 4
    • Flower Color: White or cream
    • Flower Timing: May-September
    • Fruit Type: Schizocarps



Soil Type Sandy, loam and clay soils
Habitat Edges of ponds, lakes, marshes, creeks and intermittent streams
Successional Stage Early


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