print Print

Buckeye, Yellow Aesculus flava (octandra)

Yellow Buckeye - Aesculus flava (octandra)
+More Photos

With its oval, slightly spreading canopy, the Yellow Buckeye makes a fine tall screen or shade tree. Grows best in full sun. Yellow flowers in May, dark green summer leaves turning brilliant pumpkin in fall. Grows to 60' to 75', 30' spread. (zones 4-8)

Pricing Information

Click icons for more information.

Show All | Hide All

Zones 4 - 8 Zones 4 - 8
Hardiness Zones 4 - 8
The Yellow Buckeye can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Ornamental Tree Ornamental Tree
Type of tree
Ornamental Trees, Shade Trees
60' - 75' High 60' - 75' High
Mature Height
The Yellow Buckeye grows to be 60' - 75' feet in height.
30' Spread 30' Spread
Mature Spread
The Yellow Buckeye has a spread of about 30' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This buckeye does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Yellow Buckeye grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well drained, wet, clay soils.
Oval Shape Oval Shape
Shape
This buckeye has oval shape.
Attributes

The Yellow buckeye is a common part of the rich mix of species found from the mountains of West Virginia south into northern Georgia. It is a bottomland species in the northern part of its natural range, but farther south it climbs higher on the slopes. In parks and yards it is a beautiful and dense shade tree, suitable as a pleasing focal point or a visual screen. The word "buckeye" comes from the whitish scar on the brown seeds, giving the appearance of a deer's eye.

Description

With its oval, slightly spreading canopy, the Yellow Buckeye makes a fine tall screen or shade tree. Grows best in full sun. Yellow flowers in May, dark green summer leaves turning brilliant pumpkin in fall. Grows to 60' to 75', 30' spread. (zones 4-8)

Wildlife Value

Yellow buckeyes grow in mature hardwood forests, and provide shelter and nesting sites for the animals dwelling in those forests.

History/Lore/Use

As well as the belief in the good fortune of its storied seed, the buckeye has been held to cure rheumatism and other, more minor ailments. Pioneering farm families also made soap from the kernels of buckeye seeds, and many a child's cradle was carved from the wood of this tree. Before the advent of synthetic materials, the wood was used to make artificial limbs because of its light weight and resistance to splitting. A superb variety of one of its cousins, the Sweet Buckeye, was discovered by George Washington in 1784 on a visit to Colonel Morgan in West Virginia. He planted four of them that still exist at Mount Vernon.

Moisture

This tree has normal moisture requirements, with some flooding and drought tolerance.

Leaves

This tree usually has five, nearly elliptical leaflets arranged like fingers on a long petiole. Each leaflet is about 4 to 6 inches long and 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches wide. Dark green in summer, yellow to pumpkin-orange in autumn.

Flower Color

Numerous yellow blossoms are held erect in clusters (panicles), 5 to 7 inches long, that appear like decorative torch lights in late spring.

Bloom Time

Early to mid-May.

Fruit Description

This tree's fruit is about 2 to 3 inches in diameter with two smooth buckeyes contained in a thick, spherical or pear-shaped husk. The husk, or shell, is smooth, as opposed to the thornier shell of the Ohio Buckeye.