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AESCULUS flava

Image of Aesculus flava

Felder Rushing

Family

Hippocastanaceae

Botanical Name

AESCULUS flava

Plant Common Name

Yellow Buckeye

General Description

Yellow buckeye boasts pretty yellow and pink flowers, attractive fruit and nuts, and glossy, hand-like foliage that turns yellow and orange in fall. This tall deciduous tree is native to deep, rich, moist soils of the east central United States. Its bark is relatively smooth, with platy splotches of tan among drifts of light gray.

The leaves are palmate (hand-shaped) with five to seven lobes of glossy, dark green, long oval leaflets. On the tip branches in late spring are found clusters of rosy, light yellow flowers pollinated by bees. Soon afterward, round, leathery-skinned fruits develop that have a tan color with snakeskin-like speckles, splitting open in fall to reveal a buckeye - a shiny reddish brown seed, which is not edible. However, squirrels and large birds will use the buckeyes as food.

Plant yellow buckeye in a moist, well-drained acidic or neutral soil in full sun. Avoid hot, dry spots so the leaves do not have scorched edges. When planting, do not damage the sparse, fleshy roots on a young container-grown tree. This buckeye becomes a magnificent specimen shade tree for large lawns and properties, such as campuses and parks. The dense shade cast by this tree will make turfgrass sparse. A better choice is shade-loving perennials such as hostas.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    60'-100' / 18.3m - 30.5m (75)

  • Width

    35'-50' / 10.7m - 15.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Orange

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Platy

  • Usage

    Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes