Buttonbush, Common Buttonbush, Globeflowers, Honey-balls, Pond Dogwood, Swamp Sycamore
From the Greek kephale meaning head and occidentalis meaning western or of the western hemisphere.
Found in most of the northeastern and eastern US with varieties found through the Great basin and California and south through Texas. In the Tallgrass region, it favors the edges of ponds and swamps. Fragrant white flowers show from July through August. With ideal conditions, it can reach 20 feet in height, but normally grows 3 to 6 feet in height. The fruits of Buttonbush are eaten by some bird species during the winter months and pheasants and wood duck feed on the seeds.
Southern Native Americans and French Settlers made a tonic from the bark of the Buttonbush to treat fevers. It is related to the coffee tree and the tree which provides quinine. The leaves do contain glucoside, a known poison which can affect grazing animals. Some medicines are derived from the leaves and the root bark has been used to treat diabetes.
|Sun Exposure||Prairie, Savanna|
|Soil Moisture||Wet, Wet Mesic,|
|Max Height||to 15 feet|
|Seeds Per Packet||150|
|Seeds Per Ounce||6,000|
Edible Uses: Unknown
Medicinal Uses: Button bush was often employed medicinally by native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a range of ailments. It is little used in modern herbalism.
A tea made from the bark is astringent, emetic, febrifuge and tonic. A strong decoction has been used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery, stomach complaints, haemorrhages etc. It has been used as a wash for eye inflammations.
A decoction of either the roots or the fruits have been used as a laxative to treat constipation.
The leaves are astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic and tonic. A tea has been used to check menstrual flow and to treat fevers, kidney stones, pleurisy etc. The plant has a folk reputation for relieving malaria.
The inner bark has been chewed in the treatment of toothaches.
Other Uses: Wood - light, tough. Of no commercial value
Herbal Uses: Unknown