Cephalanthus occidentalis Common Buttonbush, Honeyballs
Seeds & Potted Plants

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Seed & Plants for Home Landscaping & Prairie Restorations
(sef-uh-LAN-thus  ok-si-DEN-tal-us)

photo by cj Habitat Bloom Period Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Cephanlanthus occidentalis, buttonbush picture Sun to 
Lt Shade
June - August white 72 to 96 moist  36 to 72 Inches Perennial shrub

For other flowers visit the wildflower seed list , to order copy the orderform or 
email questions, comments, and orders to john

We have Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush plants available, $5.00 each plus UPS shipping
please contact us by email with your zip code for shipping charges on potted plants
Payment can be by check, money order or through PayPal

Cephalanthus occidentalis seed
Common Buttonbush shrub

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  $2.50 + shipping

150 20 sq ft

1 ounce - $8.00

 7,080 460 sq ft

1 pound - $60

 113,280 7,360 sq ft

(Cephalanthus = flowering head)
(occidentalis = from the West)

Cephalanthus occidentalis, Buttonbush or Honeyball, is an attractive large woody shrub with showy, fragrant ball-shaped flower heads.  Plant Button Bush shrubs in sunny, moist soil near a pond or stream or along a lake shore for protection from erosion caused by waves.  The seeds of our native common buttonbush seeds are eaten by ducks and numerous other water birds and the fragrant flowers are a favorite nectar source for butterflies.  Cephalanthus occidentalis Button Bush shrub provides excellent nesting area for songbirds. 

Buttonbush is a host plant for the Sphinx Moth

Wild Common Buttonbush occurs naturally from Florida to Mexico, north to Nova Scotia, and west to Quebec, Ontario, and California.  Rubiaceae (Madder Family)


Buttonbush is an obligate wetland shrub suitable for wetland restoration, created wetlands, and riparian zones.  It has exceptional wildlife benefits.  The seed is eaten by eight species of waterfowl and the twigs by three species of mammals.  Buttonbush is a host plant for the Sphinx moth.


Buttonbush is a large, multi-stemmed shrub that grows to a mature height of twelve feet.  It has opposite, entire leaves 2-6 inches long and 1-3 inches wide.  They are glabrous and green above.  The flowers occur in dense, round, 1 inch diameter clusters which bloom from June to September.  The seed matures in the round clusters that resemble those of the sycamore tree.  This plant spreads by seed dispersal and resulting seedling establishment.

Adaptation and Distribution

The natural range of this shrub is from Florida to Mexico and north to Nova Scotia and Ontario.  Buttonbush is best adapted to shorelines and swamps with saturated soil and full sunlight.  It will tolerate water depths up to three feet.  Flowering is poor in the shade or in dry soils.


One year old seedlings or rooted cuttings can be established at a two foot spacing for erosion control, or a wider spacing for wetland mitigation or habitat development. Controlling competition during the first growing season is the biggest establishment challenge. Scalp the existing vegetation from a two foot diameter area on which the seedling is being established. Unrooted cuttings can be established by pushing cuttings into the soil one foot apart for erosion control or wider for mitigation or habitat development.


Buttonbush may be fertilized with a slow release fertilizer to enhance flowering and seed production. Plants on areas with fluctuating water levels may need debris cleared out of the canopy.

The map below shows areas where native Cephalanthus occidentalis button bush plants grow wild but it can be planted and will grow over a much wider area than shown.  USDA plant hardiness zones 2 to 9.

Cephalanthus occidentalis
Common ButtonBush


New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina

Rhode Island
South Carolina
West Virginia

State Distributional Map for CEOC2


Please contact us by email for shipping charges on Cephalanthus occidentalis buttonbush 
 potted plants

Use the chart below for shipping charges on Cephalanthus occidentalis Common ButtonBush  flower seeds, to order copy the order form or email questions, comments & orders to john

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =    $3.00 shipping
$20.01 - $50.00    =    $4.00 shipping
$50.01-$100.00    =    $5.00 shipping

over $100.00    =    5 % of subtotal

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PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  Mo.  65793
phone-fax 417-469-2611 

Cephalanthus occidentalis plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.