(Cephalanthus occidentalis)
The Madder Family (Rubiaceae)

Shrub or small tree with opposite or whorled, deciduous leaves and smooth gray to brown bark that becomes furrowed as it ages.


Wet sites, often along the edge of ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.

Interesting Facts: 

Butterfly magnet in mid-summer! Provides nesting sites for many wading birds. Host plant for a number of Lepidoptera including the Promethea Moth.

Round cluster of .25” dark brown nutlets, mature late summer to fall.
Small, white tubular flowers occur in a dense 1” round cluster at the end of a slender 1 - 2” stalk, appear mid-summer.
Wildlife value: 
Nutlets are eaten by many water birds. Flowers provide nectar for native bees, European honey bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 3.00-7.00 inches
Tree height: 6.00-18.00 feet

Where to find Buttonbush on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

WET - Wetland Trail 10.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.