Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A buttonbush flower globe

with 25 comments

It’s been a long time since I showed you a buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) flower globe, so here’s one from the edge of Bull Creek on 7/25. Throw in the 24 hours that made up that day, and you’ve got a 7-24-25 right triangle: 7 x 7 + 24 x 24 = 25 x 25. The arithmetic smells as fragrant as these flowers (and Google once again thinks that’s a unique statement).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 26, 2017 at 4:55 AM

25 Responses

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  1. This is a very nice photo of a button bush flower globe. I love this plant and have it growing in my rain garden/bioswale. With all the rain we had this year it was covered with buttons, which doesn’t always happen.


    August 26, 2017 at 7:03 AM

    • This is a species with a large range that includes hot regions and cold regions, so a lot of us get to see it. I didn’t know you’ve got one in your range garden. What fun.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 26, 2017 at 10:39 PM

  2. This is one of my favorites among the globe-like flowers. It took me so long to identify the first one I saw. It was in Missouri, and the little seedheads already had turned red. I was astonished when I collected and cleaned some basket-flower seeds to see how many seeds a single flower could contain. I’m sure the same is true with the buttonbush.


    August 26, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    • That’s nature for you, a profligate on a grand scale. Not for nature is the adage “Waste not, want not.” Most seeds are wasted.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2017 at 11:04 AM

  3. Hm. Never seen one of those in Texas…or anywhere.


    August 26, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    • I wasn’t done! Accidentally pressed ‘reply’ instead of ‘return.’ I love how you worked Pythagoras in there. Your posts are always enlightening. 😀


      August 26, 2017 at 10:05 AM

      • Any day you can bring in Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Theorem is a good day. Let there be light.

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 27, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    • There’s a big, beautiful one at the Environmental Institute of Houston demonstration garden at UHCL, lots of them at Armand Bayou, and some at the Brazoria WF. I’ll bet you can find them at Brazos Bend.


      August 26, 2017 at 10:38 AM

      • Will have to look for sure! It’s a new one for me.


        August 26, 2017 at 10:59 AM

        • How are you making out in your part of the Houston area? I saw online that the southeast quadrant has the most flooding.

          When things are dry, I hope you’ll find some buttonbushes in the places Linda mentioned.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 27, 2017 at 11:02 AM

  4. Lovely globe .. perfectly shot 🙂


    August 26, 2017 at 2:51 PM

  5. What a pretty globe and I love the name buttonbush! Seems similar to an allium? Hope you are not suffering too badly from the hurricane Steve.


    August 27, 2017 at 10:26 AM

  6. Nice picture and great timing, although I generally flee into the forest to avoid such things as arithmetic! 🙂 I had just been admiring this bush, the weekend before last, and meant to look it up. It was growing on the edge of a marsh near Lake Ontario. Now that you’ve ID’d it for me, I find that the state environmental dept sells seedlings.
    It’s great when a good nectar and seed source is also really attractive and fragrant.

    Robert Parker Teel

    August 28, 2017 at 8:58 AM

    • Oh, no need to flee. This kind of arithmetic brings rewards.

      Yes, attractiveness and fragrance meet in the buttonbush. I’m glad you found one near you, and just two weeks ago.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2017 at 10:59 PM

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