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Similar but less problematic plants:
Aesculus glabra Palmately compound leaves.
Aesculus flava is often confused with:
Aesculus x arnoldiana
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Hamamelis virginiana Hamamelis virginiana
Cercis canadensis tree form with pink blooms
Aesculus pavia Photo of Aesculus pavia flowers
Aesculus flava has some common insect problems:
Lace Bugs
Japanese Beetle
Bagworms in Ornamental Landscapes

Sweet Buckeye Aesculus flava

Other Common Name(s):

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 that may grow 50 to 120 feet tall. The leaves are opposite and palmately compound with 5 elliptical leaflets having smooth to slightly toothed margins. The bark sometimes is exfoliating. Erect, 6-inch panicles with creamy yellow flowers mature in late spring. Smooth fruit capsules with 2 seeds mature in early fall.

The Yellow Buckeye has dark green disease-resistant foliage that turns attractive yellow-orange in the fall.  The buckeye fruit on the tree is interesting but not particularly ornamental.  It is not recommended as a street tree or for use near homes due to the litter produced, particularly twigs, fruit and falling leaves.  Therefore, it is a good selection for more remote areas of the landscape including native plant and moist woodland areas.

Yellow Buckeye trees prefer well-drained, fertile, moist, humusy-sandy loam soils.  It dislikes dry sites.  This is a taprooted tree that once established is difficult to transplant.  It has low flammability, attracts wildlife, and is resistant to damage by deer.  Buckeyes have often been carried people as good luck charms even though they are poisonous.

 

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 / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#fall color#yellow#shade tree#poisonous#orange#wildlife plant#native tree#nectar plant#showy leaves#fall interest#buckeye#flowering#flowering tree#squirrels#nuts#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#fire resistant#woodland#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#hummingbird
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#fall color#yellow#shade tree#poisonous#orange#wildlife plant#native tree#nectar plant#showy leaves#fall interest#buckeye#flowering#flowering tree#squirrels#nuts#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#fire resistant#woodland#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#hummingbird
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aesculus
    Species:
    flava
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Firewood and pulpwood
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Distribution:
    Ohio Valley and Appalachian Mountains of Eastern United States
    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.
    Edibility:
    NOT edible!
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 120 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Leathery capsule on a stout terminal stalk with 1-3 shiny, dark brown seeds with pale scar. Matures in late summer to fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Yellow in large terminal clusters, stamens shorter than upper petals. Flowers are tiny individually but form erect panicles up to 6" long in late spring (April-May).
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    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:
    Palmate dark green compound leaves with five spreading, toothed, ovate-oblong leaflets to 4-7” long. Fall color often includes attractive shades of yellow-orange.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth, light grayish brown developing to large scaly patches.
  • 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
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Problems:
    Messy
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN! 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