Uses

Toxic parts

The leaves contain glucosides and can be toxic in large doses. Symptoms include vomiting, convulsions, chronic spasms and muscular paralysis[1].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Cephalanthus occidentalis.

Material uses

Wood - light, tough. Of no commercial value[2].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Button bush was often employed medicinally by native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a range of ailments[3]. It is little used in modern herbalism.

A tea made from the bark is astringent, emetic, febrifuge and tonic[4][5]. A strong decoction has been used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery, stomach complaints, haemorrhages etc[3]. It has been used as a wash for eye inflammations[5]. A decoction of either the roots or the fruits have been used as a laxative to treat constipation[3] The leaves are astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic and tonic[4][5]. A tea has been used to check menstrual flow and to treat fevers, kidney stones, pleurisy etc[5]. The plant has a folk reputation for relieving malaria[5].

The inner bark has been chewed in the treatment of toothaches[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - we have no details on this plant but would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in an acid compost in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Cuttings of soft or semi-ripe wood, July in a frame[6].

Layering.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cephalanthus occidentalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

An easily grown plant[7], it prefers an open position in a moisture retentive or wet neutral to acid humus-rich soil[6]. Dislikes dryness at the roots[8]. A calcifuge plant, it dislikes alkaline soils[6]. Requires a sunny position[9].

Plants are hardy to about -25°c[9]. A fast-growing but short-lived species in the wild[2]. The flowers, and the dried leaves, have a soft sweet fragrance like newly mown hay[10]. A good bee plant[11].

Plants are sometimes evergreen[6].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cephalanthus occidentalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cephalanthus occidentalis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Genus
Cephalanthus
Family
Rubiaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    3 x 2
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (32202/01/01)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (32202/01/01)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (32202/01/01)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (32202/01/01)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.6 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (32202/01/01)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
    7. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (32202/01/01)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (32202/01/01)
    10. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (32202/01/01)
    11. ? Vines. R. A. Trees of Central Texas. University of Texas Press ISBN 0-292-78958-3 (32202/01/01)
    12. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-43



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