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Aesculus flava (A. octandra)

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Big buckeye, Sweet buckeye, Yellow buckeye
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Comment:

Yellow Buckeye is a deciduous tree, in the Sapindaceae family that may grow 50 to 120 feet tall but typically grows to 75 feet.  The bark sometimes is exfoliating.  

The Yellow Buckeye is not recommended as a street tree or for use near homes due to the litter produced, particularly twigs, fruit and falling leaves.  A good selection for more remote areas of the landscape including native plant and moist woodland areas.

This is a taprooted tree that once established is difficult to transplant.

Since colonial times, buckeyes have been carried by many school children and adults as good luck charms even though they are poisonous.

Mature trunks (to 2-3’ in diameter) have gray-brown bark that is fissured and scaly. This tree is also noted for having non-sticky buds and non-ridged bud scales.

Regions:  Mountain

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves: Fall         Bloom:  Spring          Fruit/Seed/Nut: Spring, fruit is poisonous

Wildlife Value: The Yellow buckeye is moderately deer resistant.  Hummingbirds nectar at the flowers, the nuts are eaten by squirrels. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Leaf scorch may occur in dry or windy conditions. Leaf blotch can also be a problem. Powdery mildew, leaf spots, and anthracnose may also occur. Buckeye lacebug, Japanese beetles, bagworms, and borers are infrequent but potentially troublesome. Disease problems for this tree are generally not as severe as those for Ohio buckeye.

Height:
75 foot
Flower:
The Yellow buckeye's flowers are yellow, (each 1/2 to 1” long) in erect panicles (to 6” long) appear in mid-spring. Flowers are followed by the familiar buckeye fruit, which is a globular dehiscent capsule consisting of 1-2 buckeyes encased by a leathery light brown partitioned husk. The husk is smooth on the outside. Fruit on the tree is interesting but not particularly ornamental. When ripe, each buckeye turns red brown with a light eye (hilum).
Zones:
4-8
Habit:
Fertile, moist, humusy-sandy loams
Site:
The Yellow buckeye will grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers fertile, moist, humusy-sandy loams. The foliage tends to scorch and generally depreciate in dry conditions. This is a taprooted tree that once established is difficult to transplant.
Texture:
Fissured and scaly
Form:
Oblong-rounded crown
Exposure:
Full sun, part shade
Fruit:
Poisonous
Family:
Hippocastanaceae
Origin:
USA, NC
Distribution:
Mountains
Poison Part:
Seeds and tea made from leaves and sprouts
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
Symptoms:
Muscle weakness and paralysis, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor
Edibility:
The fruit of the Aesculus flava is highly poisonous.
Toxic Principle:
Glycoside aesculin, saponin aescin, possibly alkaloids
Severity:
HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!
Found in:
Forest or natural area in rich woods and along creeks and rivers; landscape as ornamental trees
Width:
50 feet
Leaf:
Palmate compound leaf emerges in the spring, each with five spreading, toothed, ovate-oblong leaflets to 4-7" long. The leaves mature to dark green in the summers. Fall color often includes attractive shades of yellow-orange.
Tags:
woodland, poisonous, hummingbirds, shade tree, fruited, buckeye, flowering, deer resistant

NCCES plant id: 940

Aesculus flava (A. octandra) Aesculus flava (A. octandra)
Aesculus flava (A. octandra) Aesculus flava (A. octandra)
Aesculus flava (A. octandra) Aesculus flava (A. octandra)