Uses for Buttonbush

Permacltur permacltur at
Tue Jun 3 06:34:55 EST 1997

Our pasture has an infestation of Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
which I only managed to identify yesterday after finding a specimen in
flower. We are recently moved here and I am trying to bring the pastures
back.  This material cuts like butter but comes back with a vengence. 
Moreover, when I cult accumulated vegetation and used it for mulch, the
twigs root and sprout and become a serious garden weed.

The steer does not eat it, which of course would be too good to be true. 
It propagates vegetatively more readily than willow and grows in the same
places--wet and seasonally submerged ground.

Since it is so hard to kill, it occurs to me that I am going about this
the wrong way.  Are there uses for buttonbush?  (O Do tell me that the
roots are valuable and I can't afford not to dig them all up!)  It seems
like a candidate for carving--I[m lazy and like a soft wood.  The sprouts
are pliant when fresh but quite brittle when dried--so much for basket
making.  I feel that I'm missing something here and I'm wide open to
comments.  Oh, the flowers had no insects on them--so much for bee forage
(though pollinators are scarce here as they are in most of North America
after the big honeybee die off.)  

It would help if you can send a copy of your reply to my email address as
I don't get on this network often.  I'll write up all suggestions and send
the results to everyone who replies.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design
Courses, consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now
correspondence courses via email.  Next starts in Aug  1997. Internships
available. Copyright, 1997, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway, P.O. Box 2052, Ocala
FL 34478 USA  YankeePerm at  

We don't have time to rush.

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