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Aesculus pavia

Phonetic Spelling
ES-kew-lus PAH-vee-ah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Red Buckeye is a small, deciduous tree that may grow 15 to 25 feet tall. The leaves are opposite, palmately compound with 5 elliptical leaflets that have a toothed margin. The bark is splotchy, gray-brown, and initially smooth, but with size will develop scaly patches. In spring, tubular, red flowers mature in 4 to 7 inch upright clusters. The small tree produces 1 to 3 shiny brown seeds contained in a three-parted smooth husk.

Blooms in mid-spring; golfball-sized fruit ripens in fall; large pyramidal, terminal panicles are quite ornamental. Tolerates full sun or partial shade(best); pH adaptable, but prefers acid soil; prefers moist, well-drained, organic soil; no serious pest/disease problems.

Family name Sapindaceae (formerly Hippocastanaceae)

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:    Early spring           Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Leaf blotch can be a significant problem for this plant.

Found in: Forest or natural area in low woods and along streams; landscape, as cultivated flowering tree

Form: Clump forming, rounded top

Quick ID Hints:

  • Tree/shrub with 5-part, palmately cmpd leaves
  • Inflorescence is terminal, RED or YELLOW, pyramidal
  • Individual flowers are tubular or campanulate
  • Fruit is a 5-6 cm smooth dehiscent capsule w/1-2 brown seeds
  • Deciduous shrub or small tree to 13'.
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Atrosanguinea'
  • 'Humilis'
  • 'Splendens'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#butterflies#sun#deciduous#small tree#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#spring#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#honey bees#nectar plant#flowering tree#hedges#mammals#wet sites#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#fantz#hummingbird
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Atrosanguinea'
  • 'Humilis'
  • 'Splendens'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#butterflies#sun#deciduous#small tree#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#spring#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#honey bees#nectar plant#flowering tree#hedges#mammals#wet sites#food source#cpp#low flammability#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#fantz#hummingbird
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aesculus
    Species:
    pavia
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA (in NC)
    Distribution:
    Coastal Plain
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds and bees feed on nectar from flowers in the early spring. The seeds are eaten by squirrels.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Paricularly resistant to fire in the landscape.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Smooth, leathery capsule with 1-3 large, shiny, brown seeds each with a pale scar.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    The Red buckeye has showy, erect, 4-10” long, medium panicles of red to orange-red. Its narrow-tubular flowers appear in early spring. Petals 4-5, glandular at margins; calyx tubular-campanulate; stamens exserted.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The Red buckeye has palmately compound, shiny, dark green leaves that are attractive in spring and early summer but usually begin to decline by August. The leaves are 3-6", opposite, with 5 to 7 leaflets. Leaflets are oblong-obovate to elliptic, acuminate, cuneate, serrate, dark green above, glabrous or slightly tomentose beneath, 7-15 cm long; petiole 5-12 cm long.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Patchy
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Its bark is splotchy, gray-brown and initially smooth but with size will develop scaly patches.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stout, olive-brown, with raised brown lenticels.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Short-lived
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poisonous if ingested. Highly toxic, may be fatal if eaten. Symptoms may include muscle weakness and paralysis, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor. (Poison part: Seeds and tea made from leaves and sprouts)
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Glycoside aesculin, saponin aescin, possibly alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Seeds
    Stems