Botanical Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis
Common Name: Buttonbush, Honeyballs, Spanish Pincushion, Globeflowers, Swampwood, Button-Willow, Crane Willow, Little Snowball, Pinball, Pond Dogwood
Description: Buttonbush is another one of my favorite Texas native shrubs. The white ball-shaped flowers look like pincushions and bloom Spring to Summer. In its native habitat, Buttonbush is a wetland shrub, but it adapts to regular garden environments as long as it gets water on a regular basis from either rain or irrigation. I wouldn’t call it a drought tolerant plant. So, plant it in that rain garden you’ve been planning, or beside that downspout, or in that low area that stays moist where nothing else will grow, or at the edge of your pond, or in your regular garden beds that get irrigation. It’s fast growing, likes sun to part shade, is deciduous, and grows 5 – 12′ tall x 4 – 8′ wide into a loose, rounded habit.
I’ve seen these growing in the wild, and they are glorious plants that are abuzz with butterflies, Titan sphinx moth, Hydrangea sphinx moth, hummers, native bees, honeybees, bumblebees, and all kinds of other pollinators when in bloom, and at least 25 species of birds eat the seeds! You need this shrub in your garden.
Hardiness Zones 5 – 10