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Cephalanthus occidentalis

A spreading, aquatic shrub or sometimes small tree with many branches (often crooked and leaning) and an irregular crown. This shrub can form dense thickets 3-12' tall. Used in streambank stabilization and in upper and lower shoreline zones. It is a nice landscape plant if allowed to be aggressive and soil moisture is maintained. A good plant for wetland restorations, especially in flood plain forests, meadows, thickets and stream banks.

USDA symbol: CEOC2

General Information

Plant TypeShrub
Height12 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureMedium
Bloom ColorWhite
Buttonbush (Buttonbush<div><em class="small">Cephalanthus occidentalis</em></div>)
Photo credit: Metro Blooms (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceVery High
General Resilience7
Salt ToleranceLow
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant

Pollinator Value: Very High

Bloom MonthsJune to August
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils
Coefficient of Conservatism5
Herbivore SensitivityMedium
Rate of SpreadFast
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent


CountyChisago, Houston, Pine, Ramsey, Rice, Wabasha, Washington, Winona
EcoregionDriftless Area, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Lakes and Forests, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland