In the genus Cephalanthus are ten or so species from wetlands and river edges in Africa, Asia, and North and Central America. Their ball-shaped, fragrant flowers are their most distinguishing feature. They attract bees and butterflies. The fruit that follows is sometimes eaten by waterfowl in wet areas. Plant Cephalanthus in a shrub border or at waterside.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsFragrant flowers that resemble golf balls.
CareChoose a site in full sun with fertile, humusy, moist but well-drained soil that has a neutral to acidic pH. C. occidentalis can grow in shallow water.
PropagationStart seeds in a cold frame in autumn. Take semi-ripe cuttings in summer or root hardwood cuttings in winter.