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AESCULUS glabra

Image of Aesculus glabra

Russell Stafford

Family

Hippocastanaceae

Botanical Name

AESCULUS glabra

Plant Common Name

Ohio Buckeye

General Description

Lobed, hand-like leaves and reddish-brown nuts distinguish the Ohio buckeye tree. This broad and round-canopied deciduous tree is native to low, moist soils of the east central United States. Its bark is gray and corky and wart-like when young, and fissured with age. It is among the first of the trees to leaf-out in early spring

The leaves are palmate (hand-shaped) with five to seven elongated lobes of bright green that deepens to dark green. On the tip branches in late spring are found clusters of yellow-green flowers that are pollinated by bees. Soon afterward round to pear-shaped, tan-skinned, short-prickled fruits develop, splitting open in fall to reveal a buckeye - the shiny reddish brown seed, which is not edible. However, squirrels and large birds will use the buckeyes as food. In autumn the leaves a robust orange color that differs from tree to tree.

Plant Ohio buckeye in a moist, well-drained acidic or neutral soil in full sun. It will look its finest if the soil is deep and rich and never dry, especially in full sun locales. Unfortunately, it is not overly ornamental as it is plagued by mildew, leaf blight and sun scorch, and has the least showy flowers of all the horsechestnuts. Nonetheless, it is fully worth preserving a native specimen in a landscape. Grow it as a specimen or cluster on the edge of woodlands or in a lawn. Note that the dense shade cast by this tree (as well as its drooping lower branches) will make turfgrass difficult to grow.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    30'-50' / 9.1m - 15.2m

  • Width

    25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m

  • 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

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Yellow Green, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Sienna

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Orange, Tan

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes