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Products > Berzelia lanuginosa
Berzelia lanuginosa - Buttonbush

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Berzelia lanuginosa
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Bruniaceae
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Cream
Bloomtime: Winter/Summer
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Berzelia lanuginosa (Buttonbush) - An upright vase-shaped evergreen shrub to 4 to 6 feet tall with small, narrow light-green feathery leaves that are tightly arranged around the wispy stems and with round button-like clusters of cream to pale yellow flowers in crowded terminal heads at the branch tips in late winter to early summer. The flowers are followed by attractive seed heads that can linger on the plant for several years. Plant in full sun to light shade in a wet or regularly irrigated well-draining, preferably acidic soil - needs irrigation particularly in winter and spring. Though some list this plant as tender, others report it tolerant to 20 F and Sima Eliosvson noted in Wild Flowers of Southern Africa that this plant was fairly hardy and tolerated cold winters in Johannesburg, South Africa. She also noted the plant appreciated good air movement and particularly grew well given cool coastal winds. This is a great plant for container gardening, as an unusual specimen plant, or in bog plantings along a pond margin and makes a great cut flower. This plant is native to wet sandy flats and seeps along slopes in the Western Cape of South Africa. It is in a plant family, the Bruniaceae, that is endemic to this area with 12 species in the genus. The name Berzelia honors Swedish chemist Jacob J. Berzelius. The specific epithet 'lanuginosa' is Latin for "wool" in reference to the fluffy white flower heads. We were first introduced to this plant in the 1980's by the late Fred Meyer, a legendary north county San Diego plantsman.  The information displayed on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations that we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how it has performed in our crops out in the nursery field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well, and welcome hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information we do not mention that would aid others in growing Berzelia lanuginosa.