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Red BuckeyeAesculus pavia

  • Red Buckeye Aesculus pavia
  • Red Buckeye - Aesculus pavia

With its spectacular springtime show of deep red flowers, it’s no wonder that Guy Sternberg (author of Native Trees for North American Landscapes) ranks the red buckeye as “among the most beautiful of any temperate-zone tree.” This stunning ornamental can add a touch of interest to any home or park landscape.

But why "buckeye"? This tree actually gets its name from the whitish scar found on the each brown seed. It is said to give the seed the appearance of a deer's eye.


Hardiness Zones

The red buckeye can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 6–9. View Map

Tree Type

This is an ornamental tree, typically planted for the visual interest and beauty it can bring to landscape.

Mature Size

The red buckeye grows to a height of 10–20' and a spread of 10–20' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow to Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12" to 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The red buckeye grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam and well-drained soils.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Grows in an oval shape.
  • Blooms in April and May, with numerous red blossoms arranged in erect clusters (panicles) that are 4–8" long.
  • Loses its leaves early, usually by late September.
  • Features lustrous dark green leaves made up of 5–7 leaftlets that droop handsomely. Its foliage unfurls earlier than most trees.
  • Yields fruit 1½–2" in diameter with a smooth or slightly pitted shell that encloses 1–3 dark brown seeds.
  • Can grow as a multi-trunked tree, a single trunked tree or a shrub, depending on pruning.
  • Makes a great specimen tree.

Wildlife Value

The red blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Fox squirrels sometimes eat the buckeyes.

History/Lore

This tree gets its name from the whitish scar found on the each brown seed, giving it the appearance of a deer's eye.