Description: Deciduous, summer flowering North American shrub bears 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: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5
Origin: North America
Attributes: Rain garden; Attracts butterflies
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.