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Big Buckeye Aesculus octandra

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Big Buckeye:

Previously known as:

  • Aesculus octandra
Phonetic Spelling
ES-kew-lus oak-TAHN-drah
Description

Yellow buckeye is the largest of the buckeyes native to the United States.  It prefers well-drained fertile, moist, humusy-sandy loam soils.  It has a deep taproot that once established makes this tree difficult to transplant.  It 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.  

Insect, Disease and Other Plant Problems: Buckeye lacebug, borers. Leaf blotch can be a significant problem. Powdery mildew, leaf spots and anthracnose may also occur. Leaf scorch (brown edges) in drought or windy conditions. Disease problems for this tree are generally not as severe as those for Ohio buckeye.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#fall color#pollinators#wildlife plant#nectar plant#fall interest#squirrels#nuts#deer resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#fall color#pollinators#wildlife plant#nectar plant#fall interest#squirrels#nuts#deer resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aesculus
    Species:
    octandra
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    United States
    Distribution:
    Southeast PA to Northern AL and GA to OH River valley to IL
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds nectar at flowers. Nuts attract squirrels
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    More diseases than Ohio Buckeye. Moderate deer resistance
    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
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Medium
    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 Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Smooth globular dehiscent fruit capsule with 2 smooth seeds. When ripe, each buckeye turns red brown with a light eye.
  • 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:
    Erect, 6 in. panicle of creamy, yellow flowers in late spring
  • 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:
    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.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Bark Description:
    Fishered and scaly.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Noted for having non-sticky buds and non-ridged bud scales.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Messy