a North American shrub, Cephalanthus occidentalis, of the madder family, having globular flower heads.

1625–35; button + bush1

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Encyclopedia Britannica


(Cephalanthus), genus of shrubs or small trees of the madder family (Rubiaceae, q.v.) native to Africa, Asia, and North America. It was named for its fragrant, creamy white, spherical flowers, about 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) in diameter. There are at least 6 species of buttonbush. Cephalanthus occidentalis, the most common, grows about 6 meters (20 feet) high.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The plants in shrubby swamps may vary, but include willows and buttonbush.
Buttonbush, leatherleaf and alder dominate marshy areas around the pond.
The marshy areas around the ponds are dominated by buttonbush, smartweed and
Plants common in shrub and scrub wetlands include buttonbush and water willow
  among others.
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