|Photographed 14 July 2013, Pin Oak Marsh, Chariton, Iowa.|
Cephalanthus occidentalis. This shrubby plant with spreading branches, which can grow to a minimum of 3 feet and soar to 20 in thickets under the right circumstances, is native to wet depressions in Lucas County's black-dirt prairies, marshes and open stream banks. It's stalked leaves are shiny on top. Tiny flowers occur in dense, stalked, ball-like heads which leave upon maturing spherical seed heads that eventually turn brown.
Blossom heads, which some have felt look like round buttons, appear first in late spring and bloom into midsummer.