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Firecracker Plant Aesculus pavia

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Firecracker Plant:

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 or shrub that may grow 15 to 25 feet tall. It is native to coastal and Piedmont areas in NC. It is quite ornamental in spring when tubular, red flowers appear in 6 to 8 inch upright clusters that last for about a month and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Flowers are followed by 1 to 3 shiny brown seeds contained in a three-parted smooth husk which can be numerous. The attractive palmate leaves usually fall by the end of September.

Red Buckeye prefers partial shade in moist well-drained soil. It will tolerate full sun, is pH adaptable and will grow in a variety of soil types. Use this tree in woodland or naturalized areas, as a specimen, along ponds and streams or in a wildlife garden.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Leaf blotch can be a  problem for this plant. Leaf, stem and fruit drop can be messy.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Atrosanguinea'
    Deeper red flowers
  • 'Humilis'
    Low or prostrate shrub with small panicles of red flowers
  • 'Splendens'
  • var. flavescens
    Naturally occurring with yellow flowers
  • 'Variegata'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#sun#deciduous#small tree#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#specimen#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#honey bees#nectar plant#flowering tree#hedges#wet sites#stream banks#pond margins#small mammals#food source#messy#cpp#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#woodland#spring interest#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#fantz#butterfly friendly#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Atrosanguinea'
    Deeper red flowers
  • 'Humilis'
    Low or prostrate shrub with small panicles of red flowers
  • 'Splendens'
  • var. flavescens
    Naturally occurring with yellow flowers
  • 'Variegata'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#sun#deciduous#small tree#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#rain garden#specimen#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#honey bees#nectar plant#flowering tree#hedges#wet sites#stream banks#pond margins#small mammals#food source#messy#cpp#NC native#deer resistant#native garden#woodland#spring interest#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#fantz#butterfly friendly#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aesculus
    Species:
    pavia
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA , NC
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees feed on nectar from flowers in the early spring. The seeds are eaten by squirrels.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    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
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    1-3 inch wide smooth, leathery capsule with 1-3 large, shiny, brown seeds each with a pale scar.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Showy, erect, 6-10” long panicles of red to orange-red tubular flowers in early spring. Individual flowers are 1-1.5 inches long. Petals 4-5, glandular at margins; calyx tubular-campanulate; stamens exserted.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Palmately compound leaves have 5, sometimes 7, leaflets that are 4-8 inches long and 2-4 inches wide. Leaflets are oblong-obovate to elliptic, acuminate, cuneate, serrate, dark green above, glabrous or slightly tomentose beneath,
  • 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 Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stout, olive-brown, with raised brown lenticels.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Messy
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • 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 Toxic Principle:
    Glycoside aesculin, saponin aescin, possibly alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Seeds
    Stems