Buttonbush

Buttonbush_jpgNative Americans chewed the bark of buttonbush for toothache and used a strong bark decoction (medicine prepared by boiling thick parts of a plant; ingested hot or cold) as medicine for dysentery and as an astringent wash for sore eyes.  The inner bark was an important emetic.  Tree and root barks were used as a tonic.  The root bark was also taken for hemorrhages and “enlarged muscles”.  A poultice (a soft, moist mass of plant parts wrapped and applied warm or hot to the skin) of warmed root was applied to the head for eye problems and a leaf decoction was taken for rheumatism.

OtherCommonName:

Honey Balls

ScientificName:

Cephalantus occidentalis

Community:

Freshwater Wetlands

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

3 to 20 feet

FruitingTime:

August to September

Distribution:

Statewide in NJ

FloweringTime:

Early July to late August

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Leaves are opposite, pointed-oval, and entire ~ Flowers are white, round in a ball with strongly protruding stamens.