Common Button Bush
Cephalanthus occidentalis - Linnaeus
Rubiaceae (Madder or Coffee) Family

Button Bush is also known as Honey-balls and Globe-flowers.

Plant is a much spreading, many branched shrub or sometimes a small tree with branches that are often crooked and leaning; bears white balls that resemble pin cushions. Preferred habitat is low moist meadows, stream edges, moist ditches and wet areas near lakes, ponds and streams. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are long long; about three inches wide, opposite on the stem or may be in whorls. Leaf shape is oval to lance-like; widest in the middle, pointed tips, rounded at base; short leaf stalks, no teeth and no lobes; shiny green above, paler and sometimes hairy beneath. The foliage is poisonous and unpalatable to livestock.

Flowers are at the end of new growth stems in the leaf axil. The spherical heads are bisexual; symmetrical in form and the calyx is four lobed. Corolla is tubular; white, with four stamens that extend beyond the corolla. Flowers occur in late spring and early summer.

Fruit is a nutlet.

The bitter bark of Button Bush has been used in home remedies, but its medicinal value is doubtful. Ducks and other water fowl consume the seeds.

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