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Bare Root Button Bush; Button-wood (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Item #:
Ships March 2024
Item #:
Ships March 2024
Trees & Shrubs


Deciduous, summer flowering North American shrub
Description: Ball-like heads of small, very fragrant, white or cream-colored flowers; glossy, medium-green leaves with red veins and midribs, arranged in whorls of 3
Habit: Open-branched shrub or small tree grows to 6-12’ high and 4-8’ wide
Culture: Prefers fertile, humus rich, moist but well-drained soil and full sun to light shade
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 through 10
Origin: North America
Attributes: Attracts bees and butterflies; Showy fruits; Rain garden 

The Button Bush was first documented in 1735, and is found in marshy places from New Brunswick, Canada south to Central California, Florida, Mexico, and Cuba. Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon listed it as “Swamp button-wood” in the appendix of his book, The American Gardener’s Calendar, 1806. Flowers attract butterflies and the fruits resemble old-fashioned dress buttons, hence the common name.

This plant will ship bare root. Two year seedling is approximately 12” tall.

Bare root planting tips:

~  If you can't plant immediately, store your plant in a cool location and keep the roots moist or pot in a container with a nursery potting mix from your local garden center.
~  Before planting, let the roots soak for several hours as you prepare the site. You'll want to dig a large enough hole so the root mass can spread out and the plant is at the same soil level as when it was growing in the nursery.
~  Once planted, water it in well and wait a month before fertilizing. Mulching will help to maintain moisture and raise soil temperatures for faster growth.

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