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
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
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.
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
Aesculus pavia profile on Wildflower.org