Plant Profile: Cephalanthus occidentalis-Buttonbush
Have you got a problem wet spot in your yard? Buttonbush will be your saving grace. While buttonbush thrives in full sun it can still take a fair amount of shade as well. This plant will be the envy of the neighborhood with its white spikey flower balls(below) in late spring which mature to a bright red by fall. Some say these showy "nutlets" resemble space ships.
Not only is buttonbush a delight for humans, but it also has immense wildlife value. Below is the excerpt from Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy's "Planting for Wildlife" on the benefits of buttonbush:
Caterpillar host for 2 moths.
Nectar source for bumblebees,small & large carpenter & Metallic Green Sweat bees.
Nectar for Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Many A-List birds plus Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, nuthatches, water birds & warblers eat seeds.
Shelter & nesting site for Virginia Rail, Red-winged Blackbirds & songbirds.
Shelter for frogs & salamanders.