BUTTONBUSH

Cephalanthus occidentalis

 (Rubiaceae)


Description
This native shrub grows in wet ditches and in or near water. It has globular flower heads made up of tightly packed individual, white flowers with styles that protrude, giving the flower "balls" a fuzzy appearance. The flower heads are on stalks. The leaves are shiny green and opposite on their stems. In our area this shrub can grow to 10 feet tall. 

Occurrence
One population was found grows near the small, fenced pond at Camp Brewster. Another was found in 2014 near the Wetlands Learning Center of Fontenelle Forest. The flowers bloom in mid-July and they attract many types of insects. After the flowers wilt, the seeds form by September and October.

Comments
Although this is a native species, thes shrubs may have been planted along with other cultivated plants when that pond at Camp Brewster was established and populated along with the surrounding, planted prairie. The plants at the Wetlands Learning Center were also probably planted among other prairie plants there.



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