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Yellow Buckeye Aesculus flava

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Yellow Buckeye:

Previously known as:

  • Aesculus octandra
Phonetic Spelling
ES-kew-lus FLAH-vah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Yellow buckeye is a deciduous tree, in the Sapindaceae family that may grow 50 to 120 feet tall but typically grows to 75 feet.  Mature trunks can reach to 2-3’ in diameter. It is the largest of the buckeyes that are native to the US.   

The Yellow Buckeye is not recommended as a street tree or for use near homes due to the litter produced, particularly twigs, fruit and falling leaves.  A good selection for more remote areas of the landscape including native plant and moist woodland areas.

This is a taprooted tree that once established is difficult to transplant. Buckeyes have often been carried people as good luck charms even though they are poisonous.

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves: Fall         Bloom:  Spring, April-May          Fruit/Seed/Nut: Early Fall

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Leaf scorch may occur in dry or windy conditions. Leaf blotch can also be a problem. Powdery mildew, leaf spots, and anthracnose may also occur. Buckeye lacebug, Japanese beetles, bagworms, and borers are infrequent but potentially troublesome. Disease problems for this tree are generally not as severe as those for Ohio buckeye.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#fall color#pollinators#poisonous#nectar plant#woodland garden#showy leaves#buckeye#flowering#squirrels#low flammability#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#fall color#pollinators#poisonous#nectar plant#woodland garden#showy leaves#buckeye#flowering#squirrels#low flammability#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aesculus
    Species:
    flava
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Distribution:
    southeastern PA to northern AL and GA; and OH to IL
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds nectar at flowers. Nuts attract squirrels
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Paricularly resistant to fire in the landscape.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 120 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    A globular dehiscent capsuple, with 1-2 seeds in a smooth leathery partitioned husk.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are tiny individually but form panicles up to 6" long in late spring
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Palmately compound with five leaflets
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    Fissured and scaly
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Non-sticky buds with non-ridged bud scales
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Messy
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Muscle weakness and paralysis, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Glycoside aesculin, saponin aescin, possibly alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves