Scientific Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis
Common Name: Common Buttonbush
Duration: Perennial, Deciduous
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Riparian. It grows in or near water from the desert to upland areas and is almost always found growing in wetlands (about 99% of the time).
Flower Color: White to tinged reddish
Flowering Season: Summer. Depending on the summer monsoon rains and available water, this plant blooms from June to September.
Height: To 10 feet (3 m) tall
Description: The flowers are in 1 1/2 inch (3.8 cm) wide, ball-shaped, pincushion-like clusters. The individual flowers have 4 lobes and a long, yellow-tipped style. The flower clusters are followed by similarly shaped, brown, woody seed balls. The leaves are shiny, dark green, and lance-shaped with finely-toothed margins. The stem bases are swollen.
Although this plant is poisonous, butterflies and hummingbirds visit the flowers and waterfowl eat the seeds, making it a good wildlife food plant.
Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract butterflies.
Fragrant – The flowers are fragrant.
Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds.
Poisonous – This toxic plant contains the poison cephalathin, which can cause vomiting, convulsions, and paralysis if ingested.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Rubiaceae – Madder family
Genus: Cephalanthus L. – buttonbush
Species: Cephalanthus occidentalis L. – common buttonbush
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