Well of course in true fashion, I didn’t post last week which would have been my second week for the new blog series (I just started and already failed at keeping up with). It’s a funny thing how life can really take you for a ride and make new plans that outweigh the ones you thought you had.
Any who… we shall try this again, then. For this Friday’s fun flower fact, I bring you the…
I actually have never used this magnificent shrub in an arrangement. I found this miraculous creature on a foraging adventure that my mother and I went on a few weekends ago in Helotes. We were out checking the local creeks for driftwood and as we were driving and admiring the local wildflowers on the side of the road (uhm… uhm... what did I say to do in my last post), I noticed this incredibly unusual plant along the side of the road along one of the creeks. I had to immediately turn around. As we parked on the opposite side of the road, we both looked over in wonder at with this plant could possibly be. We both have plant apps (yes, you need to get one, it will change your life if you love plants and finding out what they are. I use PlantSnap) and we immediately pulled out our phones so we could discover what this beautifully unusual plant was. The picture above is the one I took.
We both were so enamored with its unusual shaped flowers (yes, those are little white flowers that are making a round ball, soooo cool) and the different sizes they came in. Also, when the flowers died, they turned this cool rust color. The plant reminded me of some sort of 60’s print, very mod indeed.
Through our plant investigating (aka apps) we found that this unique plant is shrub and can grow to be the size of a small tree! The flowers, as mentioned before, are arranged in a dense spherical inflorescence (How cool is that?!), like little pinwheels. These small blossoms release an intensely sweet scent. I cut a few and put into a vase and they had this amazing, honey sweet aroma that filled up the room. The buttonbush are usually found in swamps, moist low-lying or irrigated areas and margins of streams, which makes sense why we found it alongside the road in a creekbed.
Now for your fun fact about these guys:
There is a town in California named Buttonwillow, which was named for the buttonbush. A lone buttonbush served as a landmark on an old trans-San Joaquin Valley trail, and was used by ancient Yokut Indians as a meeting place. It later became the site of settlers' stock rodeos. This buttonbush tree is listed as California Historical Landmark No. 492, and is now known as the "Buttonwillow Tree."
Interestingly enough, the buttonbush shrub that we saw was the only one in the area as well. I think it will be a nice reminder spot for my mother and me of that day that we had so much fun exploring the Helotes outskirts for driftwood and ended up finding that amazing buttonbush!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are able to get out and find your own mystical buttonbush!