Puff Ball Cephalanthus occidentalis - Buttonbush, Common Buttonbush, Button Ball, Riverbush, Honey-bells, Button Willow.



ephalanthus occidentalis - Buttonbush, Common Buttonbush, Button Ball, Riverbush, Honey-bells, Button Willow. While there are 17 species in the Cephalanthus genus worldwide, there are only two species of Buttonbush found in the United States. Mexican Buttonbush, Cephalanthus salicifolius is native to a couple of the southernmost counties in Texas, the only state in the U.S. in which it is found. The species presented here, Common Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis - is found throughout the eastern United States and Canada, as far west as Nebraska and Texas, and is also found in Arizona and California. (I find it curious that it makes the jump from Texas to Arizona, but is apparently not found in New Mexico, which lies between those two states.) Some authorities recognize two varieties, with the western variety known as California Buttonbush. 

Common Buttonbush is a wetland shrub or small tree which can grow to nearly 10 feet tall along the banks of streams, ponds, lakes, marshes, and in other wetland areas. The bark contains a poison that will cause vomiting, paralysis, and convulsions if eaten. 

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

The inflorescence is a dense sphere of many small white tubular flowers with 4-lobed corollas and a significantly exserted style. The style is terminated with a more or less spherical stigma which is usually covered with yellow pollen.
The young stems of Buttonbush are red and glabrous.
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