Aesculus pavia - Red Buckeye
Family: Hippocastanaceae

Hear the scientific name

Aesculus pavia is a small deciduous tree or large shrub that is native to the Southeastern U.S. Red Buckeye has considerable interest in spring with its showy red flowers. It's a good plant for use in small areas.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-single- or multi-trunked small tree or large shrub

-to 20' tall x 20' wide

-upright oval to rounded

-slow to medium growth rate

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-dark green; deciduous; opposite arrangement

-palmately compound with 5 leaflets; obovate; acuminate tips; finely serrated; glabrous

-petiolules distinct; petiole and petiolules emerging purple-red

-less susceptible to leaf scorch and/or powdery mildew than European Horsechestnut

-autumn color poor green to yellow-brown; leaves defoliate by late Sept.


-6" long x 2" wide inflorescence of many solitary flowers

-showy; stands out above foliage

-typically red, but also found with pink, pale orange and yellow; mid- to late-May


-yellow-brown to light orange smooth capsule

-splitting in Sept.-Oct. to yield one or two 1" yellow-brown nuts with a prominent white "eye of the buck"


-olive brown stout stem

-brown leaf scars

-large terminal tan buds with prominent scales

-lateral buds much smaller

-branches becoming light gray and fairly smooth



-lightly fissured

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-does best in full sun or partial shade in a moist, well-drained, rich soil; prefers slightly acidic soils, but will tolerate neutral to slightly alkaline soils

-survives moderate stress but will not look attractive

-rare availability; B&B

-plant in moist location on north or east side of structures

-little maintenance required; rarely does it need pruning, mainly for damaged branches


-zones 4 to 8


-native to Southeastern U.S.

U   S   A   G   E


-showy red inflorescences in spring

-reputedly tolerant of salt spray


-some leaf scorch or powdery mildew in mid-summer (but much less than Horsechestnut)

-may occasionally be susceptible to webworms


-specimen, foundation, or entranceway small tree


-medium in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-small accent trees that have attractive spring flowers (Amelanchier spp., Cornus, Cornus kousa, Crataegus spp., Malus cultivars, etc.)


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