Horsechestnut, Buckeye

FAMILY: Sapindaceae | GENUS: AESCULUS

TYPE
  • Deciduous
  • Shrubs
  • Trees
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

These trees sport long, showy, typically upright clusters of flowers atop their branches in springtime. Some develop good fall color. Leathery capsules release glossy, dark brown, chestnutlike seeds (buckeyes) in autumn. Prune established horsechestnuts only to remove dead branches. Summer leaf scorch is common when the plants are grown in poor, dry soil; severe cases result in defoliation.

aesculus x arnoldiana 'Autumn Splendor

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Very attractive, hybrid of Aesculus flava, Aesculus pavia, and Aesculus glabra.
  • To 3540 feet tall and nearly as wide.
  • Glossy, dark green leaves with five (rarely seven) leaflets turn brilliant maroon in autumn and are resistant to leaf scorch.
  • Yellow flowers, each with an orange-red blotch, are borne in clusters to 8 inches long.
  • Best with some shade.

red horse-chestnut

aesculus x carnea

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Hybrid between Aesculus hippocastanum and Aesculus pavia.
  • To 40 feet high and 30 feet widesmaller than Aesculus hippocastanum, better fit for small gardens.
  • Round headed with large, dark green leaves, each divided into five leaflets; casts dense shade.
  • Bears hundreds of 8 inches-long plumes of soft pink to red flowers.
  • Briotii has rosy crimson flowers; 'Fort McNair' blooms rose-pink, and 'O'Neil's Red' has bright red blooms.

YELLOW BUCKEYE, SWEET BUCKEYE

aesculus flava(Aesculus octandra)

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Native to the American South.
  • Most majestic of the North American native species: handsome, round-crowned tree to 90 feet tall and 50 feet wide, with dark green leaves divided into five to seven finely toothed, 5- to 8 inches-long leaflets.
  • Yellow flowers form on erect panicles; less showy than those of Aesculus hippocastanum.
  • Smooth, brown bark.
  • Orange fall foliage.

ohio buckeye

aesculus glabra

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • From the central and eastern U.S. Low-branching tree with dense, rounded form; to 40 feet or possibly taller, to 30 feet wide.
  • Early to leaf out.
  • Foliage is bright green when new, matures to dark green, turns yellow to orange in fall.
  • Greenish yellow flowers in 4- to 7 inches clusters.
  • Prickly seed capsules enclose shiny brown buckeyes.

aesculus g

  • arguta (A.
  • arguta).
  • TEXAS BUCKEYE.
  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Native to southern U.S. Attractive small tree to 1520 feet or taller, 1215 feet wide.
  • Leaves divided into seven to nine narrow, pointed, 3- to 5 inches-long leaflets.
  • Pale yellow flowers in late spring.
  • Weight of fruit may bend branches in fall.

common horsechestnut

aesculus hippocastanum

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Native to Europe.
  • To 60 feet tall, 40 feet wide.
  • Bulky and densely foliaged; gives heavy shade.
  • Leaves divided into five to seven toothed, 4- to 10 inches-long leaflets.
  • Spectacular flower show: ivory blooms with pink markings in 1 feet plumes.
  • Invasive roots can break up sidewalks.
  • Baumannii has double flowers, sets no seed.

bottlebrush buckeye

aesculus parviflora

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS: USDA 6-9.
  • Native to southeastern U.S. Shrub to 1215 feet tall and wide, spreading by suckers, with dark green leaves divided into five to seven 3- to 8 inches-long leaflets.
  • Very showy white flower clusters (812 inches tall, 24 inches wide).
  • Bright yellow fall foliage.
  • Good choice for massing, shrub borders, or specimen or understory planting.
  • Aesculus p.
  • serotina 'Rogers' has 112- to 212 feet-long flower clusters that are drooping rather than upright and appear about 3 weeks later than those of the species.

red buckeye

aesculus pavia

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to eastern U.S. Understory shrub or tree grows to 1220 feet tall and as wide, with irregular rounded crown.
  • Glossy deep green leaves with five to seven 3- to 6 inches-long leaflets.
  • Bears narrow, erect 10 inches clusters of bright red or orange-red (rarely yellow) flowers.
  • Does best in light shade.
  • Good choice for warm, humid climates.

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