Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

    Cephalanthus occidentalis

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    Cephalanthus occidentalis, L.


    BUTTON BUSH. (Cephalanthus occidentalis.) A shrub which  grows along the water side, its insulated thickets furnishing a safe retreat for the nests of the black-bird. Its flowers appear at a distance like the balls of the sycamore tree; hence its name.


    Traditional name

    Crane Willow.
    Common buttonbush
    Button willow

    Used parts

    The fresh bark of branches and roots is pounded to a pulp and macerated in two parts by weight of alcohol.




    Original proving


    Description of the substance


    Buttonbush is a deciduous, warm-season, tall shrub or small tree that can reach up to 18 feet (6 m) in height [28].  Its base is often swollen.  Branches are usually green when young but turn brown at maturity.  Buttonbush has opposite, lanceolate-oblong leaves about 7 inches (18 cm) long and 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide [24].  Tiny, white flowers occur in dense, spherical clusters at the ends of the branches. Fruits are a round cluster of brown, cone-shaped nutlets.  The variety angustifolius usually has leaves in whorls of threes [28].  The variety pubescens has hairs on the lower leaf surfaces [8].  The variety californicus has more lanceolate leaves than the other two varieties[21].



    Buttonbush regenerates by seed.  Seed is best collected when the nutlets have turned reddish-brown, and averages about 134,000 per pound (60,702/kg) [31].  Pretreatment of seeds is unnecessary [3].  Seeds have a low germination rate [28].  Buttonbush can also be propagated by planting cuttings in moist, sandy soil.


    Buttonbush grows along swamps, marshes, bogs, ditches, and other riparian areas that are inundated for at least part of the year [8,24]. It grows in alluvial plains that experience intermittant flooding, but can be damaged by spring flooding [12,20,23].  Faber-Langendoen and Maycock [7] reported that buttonbush was very tolerant of flooding and that its abundance increased with increasing water depth.  These authors also reported an increase in buttonbush with an increase in light level. Elevational and geographical distribution of buttonbush may be limited by mean July temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 deg C) [13]. Elevations have been reported at 635 feet (193 m) in Illinois [1] and between 60 and 160 feet (22-50 m) in Quebec [27].  Buttonbush was found
    growing in sandy, loamy sandy, or alluvial soil with a sandy or silty surface in Quebec [27].


    Buttonbush extends from southern Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario south through southern Florida and west through the eastern half of the Great Plains States [8,16].  Scattered populations exist in New Mexico, Arizona, and the central valley of California [28].  The
    variety californicus is found in California; the variety pubescens is found from southeast Virginia to Georgia and Texas, southern Ontario, Indiana, Illinois, and Oklahoma [8].  Distribution of the variety
    angustifolius was not listed.


    Buttonbush flowers between June and September and produces fruit between September and October [8,24,28].