At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Rubiaceae
Latin Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis
Foliage: Bright green
Fall Foliage: Light green to yellow
Bloom: White
Bloom Time: June
Shape: Rounded
Bark: Gray and peeling
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 5 to Zone 9
Size: 12 to 5 feet
Spread: 4 to 8 feet
Care: Medium to wet, well drained soil

Cute as a button and certainly distinguishable, the Buttonbush is a flowering deciduous shrub belonging to the Rubiaceae family, commonly found in wetlands from New England to California and from Florida’s Everglades to Minnesota. Preferring medium to wet, well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade, it thrives in the 5-9 hardiness zones. The round-crowned Buttonbush—or, by its binomial name, Cephalanthus Occidentalis—is slightly taller than it is wide, with a height of 5-9 ft. and a spread of 4-8 ft.

The Buttonbush is characterized by its dense and spherical flowers—patterned in clusters arranged on stems, in an arrangement called an inflorescence—which are said to resemble pincushions. Each flower is composed of a fused golden-white four-lobed corolla connected to sepals, with a slightly protruding stigma. Apart from these June-blooming flowers, the Buttonbush also produces spherical clusters of nutlets (or achenes) as its fruit. Its leaf clusters are bright green, long, tapering, and glossy; they lighten to even brighter shades of greenish-yellow and gold in the autumn. The Buttonbush is also characterized by its peeling gray bark.

A handsome ornamental shrub, the Buttonbush is a food source for various water birds and shore birds which flock to consume its seeds. The shrub’s flowers are wonderfully aromatic and serve as an important source of nectar for butterflies, bees, and other insects which help to pollinate the plant. The foliage is unpalatable and poisonous to livestock and humans, though Buttonbush’s bitter bark has been cited as a component of some folk remedies. If planted near stream sides and riverbanks, the Buttonbush is also helpful in controlling soil erosion and flooding.

Native Forest Nursery Photos:

Mature Tree Photos: