Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia L.)

Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)

Description: This shrub or small tree has a open growing habit . The shrub leafs out very early in spring and is followed by the attractive plume of deep red flowers. The early flowers are a good nectar source for early arriving hummingbirds. It can be pruned to control size.

Common name: Red Buckeye
Scientific name: Aesculus pavia L.
Family name: Hippocastanaceae – Horse-Chestnut family

Attracts: hummingbirds

Host plant to: Filament Bearer Moth (Nematocampa resistaria) and Saddled Prominent Moth (Heterocampa guttivitta)

Native range: southeastern North America

Habitat: in woods along the Atlantic Coastal Plain (east coast)

Height: 12 – 30 feet. This is an understory tree which grows under the taller canopy trees of the forest.
Light needed: sun or partial shade
Hardiness zones: 6-9

tree_Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) blossoms attract hummingbirds.

Red Buckeye Flowers in Spring

Bloom period: late spring
Bloom color: red
Flower: Called panicles, the tubular flowers are among the most beautiful of temperate-zone trees. Specimens grown in full Sun are noted for their brilliant, eye-popping color.

Leaves: dark lustrous, crinkled leaves have five parts to the compound leaves. The leaves are toxic.

Fruit: brown orange-brown nuts are ripen in the fall. Like the leaves, the nuts are toxic. Consider the toxicity and the presence of pets or children.

Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC, USA. Photo by Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Growing Buckeye in Your Garden

Growing Tips: It likes ordinary or fertile soil and tolerates heat. It is often sold in containers in nurseries.

Cultivars: There are cultivars of Red Buckeye which are dwarf and compact. yellow-flowered variety has been bred but I don’t think it the yellow flowers would attract hummingbirds. The color red attracts the birds.

Problems:  no serious pest problems


Hummingbird Information

Attracting Hummingbirds

Spring Blooming Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbird Migration Dates

Making Hummingbird Nectar

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