Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday’s Tree- Aesculus pavia 'Red Buckeye'

This small tree is a nice one to have in your landscape. It is a native to the United States and the range varies with the website you read—but it is hardy from zones 4 (5) - 8 (9). It can handle shade to full sun, though in full sun it seems to be stressed a bit in our area and loses its leaves earlier than one in a part sun to full shade environment.

In the spring red panicles of flowers appear –this picture was taken in our Learning Garden in mid-April. The hummingbirds love this red tubular flower – a bonus as mid-April is about when we start seeing the hummingbirds in our area.

The tree is a small sized tree. Average height is between 8- 10 feet tall and a 10 foot spread. In some cases there are examples where it has grown to 30 feet tall. The palmatedly compound leaves are rather large with 5-7 leaflets with serrated margins.

While fall color is rather insignificant, autumn brings the fruit of the blooms—the nut. This buckeye resembles the chestnut but it is NOT EDIBLE! Squirrels like this nut and will bury it in various places throughout the garden. The seed is ready to germinate as soon as it has ripened. A fast growing plant is has been known to bloom within a few years of planting.

As you can see the pods have opened and the ground under the tree is littered with the possibility of trees to come.

Nice information and additional photos on the following websites. Floridata, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Missouri Botanical Garden,and NC State.

Next week's tree—Water Oak, Quercus nigra

**** Special note****
I have changed my comment parameters so my friends at Wordpress are able to comment. Thanks Pam!


  1. Janet,

    One of my springtime favorites. Never thought about planting it here as it likes rich moist soils.

  2. Hi Janet, this is a fine tree! We have one near us that must be close to fully mature, it is a spectacle in bloom! :-)
    Thanks for the comment fix, I wish everyone would do it.

  3. My garden friends have given me two of these. They are only about 1 foot tall but do well with no extra attention and I am looking forward to growing bigger. Not to the self seeded ones though. I do see them all the time where I hike at the base. They are very pretty. It's a bonus they grow in the shade.

  4. This looks like a fine tree to work into one's landscaping. I like the size and those leaves are wonderful.

  5. There's a lot of Red Buckeyes at the NC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill. They are lovely trees.

  6. What a fascinating tree. I love the large leaves. We cannot grow them where I live, so I will enjoy yours...

  7. Great photo of the seed. It almost looks gargantuan! I enjoy the smaller trees that offer a small amount of shade. This one has particularly large leaves.

  8. All hail the Queen~~ One of my favorite trees, the Red Buckeye! They get humongous here which prohibits even the thought of growing it but when they're in bloom they can't be beat.

    I did it! When you get a minute, check out my new enlarged collage!

  9. You select such beautiful trees to feature! There is a huge buckeye at Duke Gardens that is about the most majestic thing in bloom.


  10. Hi Randy, I know it likes moist soils, but I can tell you that there are some planted in downtown Hampton in the median strips ....they have been there for at least 10 years. I imagine you could give one a better home than that.

    Hi Frances, It is spectacular in bloom. I thought I had another photo with the blooms open. Oh well, will take some photos this spring.
    Glad to make the fix. Not sure what I was thinking.

    Hi Tina, the seeds are easy enough to collect up and you don't have to worry about them being wild reseeders. Glad you have a couple of these. Hooray for shade tolerant trees!

    Hi Nancy, the small tree size and these big leaves really make it stand out in the landscape.

    Hi Sweetbay, I need to visit the NC Botanical Garden. I am sure there are tons of plants that I will fall in love with!

    Hi Noelle, Your landscapes are so different than what I have in Tidewater...I am happy to share via photos! Your posts are very interesting!

    Hi Miss Daisy, I liked that picture of the seed pod....I have a limited macro ability so when I get a good shot it is cause for celebrating!

    Hi Grace, I guess with the zone 8b climate of yours lends itself to a wonderful growing experience. Love your new collage!

    Hi Cameron, why thank you! Duke Gardens are another NC garden I need to check out. So, any suggestions on a tree you might like to see profiled? During the winter I will be presenting evergreens.

  11. Janet, thanks for changing your comment parameters. I always felt bad visiting and not leaving a comment.

    Always Growing

  12. Love that photo of the opening buckeyes! I saw quite a few buckeyes earlier this spring in Chicago, though I think they might have been a different variety. It is indeed a lovely tree in the springtime.

    By the way, how did you change your comment section? Pam mentioned the same thing to me, and I'm not sure if I changed it correctly. Thanks, Janet!

  13. Hi Jan, I am sorry it took this long to fix it, not sure what I was thinking. (if there was any thought involved at all!) Glad to see you!

    Hi Rose, Buckeyes are eye catchers in the spring, summer, and fall-- nice tree.
    As for the change...I went to dashboard, to settings tab, to the comment tab, and the second block is 'Who can comment?' and I picked the top one --anyone. It may work with the second option of registered users, but if there is a bad comment, I can delete it.

  14. Janet, thanks for another interesting post. I'll have to take notice of the ones in the Hampton medians sometime. The nuts do look like chestnuts but without the thorny casing.

  15. It's a wonderful native tree...I moved it two summers ago and it has just now settled in. I appreciate your tree posts very much! So many natives are under appreciated. gail

  16. You really put a lot of effort in these post about the trees. My dad use to carry a buckeye in his pocket for good luck. I remember that fondly about him.

  17. Hi David, thanks. The trees in Hampton are on Armistead Ave. near Pembroke Ave. I forgot about hte thorny casing on the chestnuts.

    Hi Gail, I especially like that it is a native tree. Glad you like the posts, I am learning a lot doing them.

    Hi Anna, Putting the effort into learning! Carrying a buckeye for good luck is legendary.

  18. Red Buckeyes are a favorite of mine!

  19. I planted my first red buckeye this past spring (after it had flowered) - so I'm looking forward to seeing what it will do this spring. I think it's a beautiful little tree!

  20. Hi Pam, yes it is a beautiful little tree. Hope yours does well!

  21. Thank you for your articles that you have shared with us. Hopefully you can give the article a good benefit to us. Black Red Buckeye


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