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Painted Buckeye Aesculus sylvatica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ES-kew-lus sil-VAT-ih-kah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Painted Buckeye is a small, deciduous tree that is native to the southeastern USA. In NC it is found in the Piedmont in mesic, nutrient-rich forests, on bottomlands, lower slopes, and in ravines. Also in the Coastal Plain primarily on floodplains and in the Mountains only at low elevations. It will grow 10-20 feet high in a shrub or tree form. It leafs out early in March-April with attractive palmate leaves that may start out reddish. It usually drops its leaves by September. Flowers are showy in upright clusters of usually greenish-yellow but sometimes pink or red.

It does best in sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil and is intolerant of dry soils. Give this tree a moist but well-drained site and some afternoon shade in a woodland or naturalized area. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Potential disease problems include powdery mildew, rust, and anthracnose. Potential insect problems including bagworms, Japanese beetles and borers. Leaf scorch (edges brown up) may occur in droughty conditions or on sites exposed to strong wind.

 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#understory#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#showy fruits#moist soil#low flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#flowering shrub#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#fantz#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#understory#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#tree#showy fruits#moist soil#low flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#flowering shrub#deer resistant#native garden#fire resistant#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#fantz#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aesculus
    Species:
    sylvatica
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern North America
    Distribution:
    AL, GA, NC, SC, TN, VA
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Hummingbirds feed on the nectar from the flowers in the spring. Squirrels eat the seeds. Attract butterflies. Moderately resistant to deer.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Multi-stemmed
    Open
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is 1-1.5 inches, three-parted, smooth husk, containing usually 1 chestnut brown seed but up to 3. Mature in late summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers occur in panicles 5-8 inches long and have both bisexual and male flowers in each cluster with male flowers located near the base. Bloom time starts March-April. Bell-shaped flowers are yellow, yellow-green, cream, pink or even red. Individual flowers are 1-1.5 inches long.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Palmately compound leaves have 5 leaflets that are oblong-obovate, 4-6 inches long, 1.5-2 inches wide and tapering at apex and base. They may open reddish and change to yellow-green with yellow to orange midveins and green undersides. Margins are serrated and sometimes doubly serrated. They are pubescent when young and smooth when mature. The tree leafs out early and drops its leaves early.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Its bark is a light gray-brown and smooth, mottled looking.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Only 1 terminal bud, larger than side buds
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Stout, light brown or gray, with raised lenticels, large opposite shield-shaped leaf scars, large pointed orange-brown buds.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poisonous if ingested. Symptoms may include muscular weakness and paralysis, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Glycoside aesculin, saponin aesin, possibly alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems