Bees and Button Bush

Posted by on Jul 20, 2013 in Native Plants | 0 comments

During an early morning swim in a local Cape Cod kettle hole pond, I found a button bush shrub, Cephalanthus occidentalis, growing at the edge of the water in full bloom and covered with bees.

As a designer I’m always on the lookout for new plants to use in difficult sites, so I did some research on button bush and found that it’s is native to most of the eastern United States and grows in soil that is wet for long periods of time. A trait that would make it a good choice for wetland restoration projects, retention basins or sites that flood regularly. A mass planting of them in such locations would be visually impressive and ecologically beneficial.

It’s available on a wholesale basis from New England Wetland Plants Inc, and according to Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants is easily propagated from soft wood cuttings taken in late summer.


Bob Hoxie is the owner of Great Hill Horticultural Services. He lives and gardens on Cape Cod with his wife Die, an artist and graphic designer, his cat Isis, a kitty greens addict, and a 30 year old potted avocado tree named Mr. Salad.


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