Cephalanthus occidentalis, also known as the common buttonbush or button willow, is a deciduous shrub or small tree that is native to North America. Here are some key facts about Cephalanthus occidentalis:
- Appearance: The common buttonbush typically grows to a height of 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.7 meters) and has a rounded shape. The leaves are dark green and glossy, and the plant produces small, fragrant, white or pale pink flowers in spherical clusters that resemble buttons.
- Habitat: Cephalanthus occidentalis is found in wetland habitats, such as swamps, marshes, and along the edges of ponds and streams. It can tolerate standing water and is often planted in wetland restoration projects.
- Range: The common buttonbush is found throughout much of the eastern United States and Canada, as well as in parts of the western United States.
- Uses: The plant has several potential uses. Its flowers attract pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The bark and leaves contain compounds that have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, diarrhea, and respiratory infections. The plant is also used for erosion control and as an ornamental in gardens and landscapes.
- Conservation status: Cephalanthus occidentalis is not currently considered a threatened species, but its wetland habitats are threatened by development, pollution, and other human activities. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and restore these habitats.
Overall, Cephalanthus occidentalis is an important native plant species that provides ecological and cultural benefits.