Cephalanthus occidentalis

Photo by Shirley Denton. Photograph belongs to the photographer who allows use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8A 8B 9A 9B 

QR code FNPSlogo

2002-2022, Copyright Florida Native Plant Society



Plant Specifics

Size:5 to 20 ft tall by 4 to 8 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Fruit Color:Brown
Phenology:Deciduous. Blooms in late spring. Fruits ripen in summer. Lifespan likely >50 yrs (Nelson).
Habitats:Marshes, swamps, river floodplains


Recommended Uses:Wetlands and wetland edges as a specimen plant with a pleasing multi-stemmed vase-shape.
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Usually moist, occasional inundation
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil/Substrate:Clay, Loam, Organic material (muck), Sand



Deer browse the foliage. Ducks and other birds including jays, cardinals, nuthatches, titmice, warblers, and mockingbirds consume the seed.

Host plant to several moths including titan sphinx (Aellopos titan) and hydrangea sphinx (Darapsa versicolor) moths (https://xerces.org/blog/planting-for-pollinators-button-bush).

Flowers are very attractive to a variety of insects including butterflies and bees.