Botanical Name:Cephalanthus occidentalis
Family Name:Rubiaceae – madder family
General Description:Known primarily for its unique pincushion-like flowers, Cephalanthus occidentalis is native to the Chicago area and eastern United States where it grows in sunny, wetland habitats. The flowers attract bees and butterflies and the unusual button-like fruits provide a food source for many species of birds. It can grow as a small tree or large shrub, has glossy green leaves, and unique flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Cephalanthus occidentalis is an overlooked ornamental plant that merits more use in moist to wet landscape conditions.
Resources Consulted:Dirr, Michael A. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. Champaign: Stipes, 2009. Print.
"The PLANTS Database." USDA, NRCS. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA, 2014. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
Swink, Floyd, and Gerould Wilhelm. Plants of the Chicago Region. Indianapolis: Indiana Academy of Science, 1994. Print.
Julia Fitzpatrick-Cooper, Professor, College of DuPage
Keywords/Tags:Cephalanthus occidentalis, buttonbush, small tree, large shrub, flowering shrub, deciduous, native