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Publication #FPS116

Centratherum intermedium Brazilian Buttonflower1

Edward F. Gilman and Sydney Park-Brown2


Brazilian buttonflower, a native of Brazil, is an herbaceous perennial that may attain a height of 6 to 18 inches. The olive to light green foliage of the Brazilian buttonflower has a fine texture and creates a soft texture along with the long-lasting, fluffy, button-like flowers appearing on the plant in the warm months. These 1-inch-wide flowers are a beautiful lavenderpink color.

General Information

Scientific name: Centratherum intermedium
Pronunciation: sen-TRATH-ur-um in-tur-MEE-dee-um
Common name(s): Brazilian buttonflower
Family: Unknown
Plant type: perennial; herbaceous
USDA hardiness zones: 9 through 11 (Fig. 1)
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: ground cover; edging; cascading down a wall
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Figure 1. 

No pests or diesease are of major concern.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Height: .5 to 1 feet
Spread: 3 to 4 feet
Plant habit: spreading
Plant density: dense
Growth rate: fast
Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: alternate
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: serrate
Leaf shape: elliptic (oval)
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: lavender; pink
Flower characteristic: summer flowering; fall flowering


Fruit shape: no fruit
Fruit length: no fruit
Fruit cover: no fruit
Fruit color: not applicable
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: reddish
Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; sand; loam; clay
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: may self-seed each year
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

The Brazilian buttonflower is generally used as a ground cover and is lovely when massed. It is well suited for a rock garden.

The Brazilian buttonflower prefers a well-drained soil and a full sun to partial shade position in the landscape. It is drought tolerant but is killed if frozen.

Propagate by cuttings. It will readily reseed itself.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diesease are of major concern.



This document is FPS116, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Sydney Park-Brown, Extension agent, Hillsborough County, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.