B is for Buttonbush, more properly known as Cephalanthus occidentalis. I was thrilled to find this native woody shrub which will grow to about eight to ten feet because it is not only wet tolerant, it has been known to live on river banks where the water often rises enough so that the buttonbush is actually growing in the water. My garden is periodically inundated for days at a time after rain. However, I am trying to moderate the flooding. Still I think I can guarantee a wet spot for my buttonbush for years to come.
The shrub has attractive green foliage with red veining and the spherical white flowers make it very easy to identify if you find it growing along a river’s edge. Those flowers attract all manner of native bees, butterflies and other pollinators who use their pollen and nectar.
I found my buttonbush at Nasami Farm, the propagating arm of the New England Wildflower Society, conveniently nearby in Whately.
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