Buttonbush, native to widely diverse regions of the world, is found in Ohio primarily in wetland areas, around pond margins, or in soils that are permanently moist. It occurs in the eastern half of the United States, the Great Plains, the southwestern United States, Mexico, Cuba, and eastern Asia. It is easily recognized in summer by its globular, pure white flowers that have projecting styles. Its glossy foliage, which emerges late as compared to other woody plants (mid-spring), is a second ornamental feature. This sprawling shrub, when found in the open in Ohio, reaches about 7 feet tall and 15 feet wide. As a member of the Madder Family, it is related to Coffee, Sweet Woodruff, Gardenia, and Partridge Berry, among others.
Planting Requirements - Buttonbush performs best in wet soils of variable pH, in full sun. It becomes more compact in its growth habit when sited in moist soils (organic or clay) that become dry in summer, but adapts to them. It is found in zones 5 to 11.
Potential Problems - Buttonbush is usually devoid of any serious disease or pest problems, so long as it is not sited in excessively dry soils.