from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deciduous North American shrub (Cephalanthus occidentalis) having opposite leaves and spherical clusters of small white flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the genus Cephalanthus of flowering plants in the madder family.
  • n. Any of the genus Conocarpus of two species of tropical flowering plants.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A shrub (Cephalanthus occidentalis) growing by the waterside; -- so called from its globular head of flowers. See capitulum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to the Cephalanthus occidentalis, a North American shrub, on account of its globular flower-heads. See Cephalanthus.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

button +‎ bush


  • The shrub swamps are composed of species such as buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), swamp rose (Rosa palustris), poison sumac (Rhus vernix), and silky dogwood (Cornus ammomum).

    Ecoregions of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia (EPA)

  • Shrub swamps are similar to forested swamps, except that shrubby vegetation such as buttonbush, willow, dogwood (Cornus sp.), and swamp rose (Rosa palustris) predominates.


  • Some swamps are dominated by shrubs, such as buttonbush or smooth alder.


  • But some age well, offering emergent woody shrubs, like buttonbush, which add to the diversity of food and cover.

    Beaver-Dam Ducks

  • Wetland species occurring along the shoreline include buttonbush, dogwood, blue flag, river bulrush, cattail and arrowhead.

    Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, Ohio

  • I saw some buttonbush along the foot of the fence, its dark green leaves gleaming around the little white balls of white.

    Pearl in The Mist

  • In time, a dense thicket of Coastal Plain willows, buttonbush, southern bayberry, or other plants grows on this tossed-up “mulch.”

    The Field Guide to Wildlife Habitats of the Eastern United States

  • The buttonbush has the ash-colored cocoon of the giant silkworm, made out of a rolled leaf, the petiole of which is fastened to the branch with silk.

    Some Winter Days in Iowa

  • One species - the buttonbush flatsedge, a three- to four-foot-tall plant with a sandpaper-like texture - was thought to have vanished from Texas. Chronicle

  • Situate Chinese buttonbush in full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.

    Find Me A Cure


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  • "That was as good a direction as any, he thought, and plunged into the growth of buttonbush after it."

    —Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (NY: Bantam Dell, 2001), 1062

    January 29, 2010