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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
Aesculus pavia Plant in bloom
Cercis canadensis tree form with pink blooms
Aesculus flava has some common insect problems:
Lace Bugs
Japanese Beetle
Bagworms in Ornamental Landscapes

Yellow 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 is native to eastern North America and is found in NC in the mountains. It may grow to 80 feet tall and 40 feet wide or more with an oval crown. The palmately compound leaves are attractive and have better disease resistance than other buckeyes. The bark sometimes is exfoliating. In spring, erect 6-inch panicles of creamy yellow flowers are quite showy and are followed by 2-3 inch fruits containing 1-3 seeds in the fall. As with most nut trees, they can produce litter from fruits, twigs and leaves.

Yellow Buckeye performs best in full sun in moist, rich, well-drained, deep, and slightly acidic soils. It doesn't care for poor, clay or dry soils but will tolerate brief flooding and urban conditions.  

This tree can be used in large settings as parks, libraries or large yards for shade. It will do well planted along streams or ponds, in naturalized areas or open woodland settings.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Not nearly as susceptible to leaf scorch, leaf spot, leaf blotch, and powdery mildew as other buckeyes but can still occur.  Buckeye lacebug, Japanese beetles, bagworms, and borers are infrequent but potentially troublesome.

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#NC native#deer resistant#woodland#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum
 
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#NC native#deer resistant#woodland#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aesculus
    Species:
    flava
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Firewood and pulpwood. Native Americans made a nutritious food from the seeds, after removing the toxic element by roasting and soaking them. People used to carry the nuts for luck.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern USA
    Distribution:
    AL , DC , GA , IL , IN , KY , MD , MS , NC , NJ , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds nectar at flowers. Nuts attract squirrels.
    Edibility:
    The seeds may be leached of poisonous toxins and then eaten
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 80 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:
    Erect
    Open
    Oval
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • 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 Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    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
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Leathery round to oval smooth capsule on a stout terminal stalk with 1-3 shiny, dark brown seeds with a 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 Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Individual flowers are yellow with 4 petals, stamens shorter than the petals, styles longer than the petals and curving upward. Form erect panicles up to 7 inches long and 3 inches wide 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
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Palmately compound leaves are 9-15 inches long with 5 oval leaflets that are 3-7 inches long and 1-3 inches wide. The stem is as long as the leaflet. They have a wedge-shaped base, long pointed tip, sharply serrate margins with excellent dark green color and lighter undersides. The fall color is yellow and orange.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth, light grayish brown developing to large flat scales and plates
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Only 1 terminal bud, larger than side buds
    Stem Bud Scales:
    Enclosed in more than 2 scales
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    Heart or shield shaped
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Stout brown stems with orangish lenticels. Terminal buds are orangish-brown and large (1/2 to 3/4 inch) with a sharp point, lateral buds are much smaller. Buds are non-sticky and covered with smooth overlapping scales.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Messy
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    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