Aesculus glabra - Ohio Buckeye
Family: Hippocastanaceae

Hear the scientific name

Aesculus glabra is a medium-sized, native Ohio tree, typically found on moist stream banks, but which tolerates moderate drought. Ohio Buckeye is not a good landscape plant because of various aesthetic limitations, but is appropriate in naturalistic plantings of the Midwestern U.S.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-small tree of central states, chiefly of Ohio and Mississippi Valley regions, 30-50' in height, 2-3' in diameter

-oval-rounded form

-branches droop as the tree grows

-generally symmetrical

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-opposite arrangement

-palmately compound with 5 nearly elliptical, serrate leaflets 4-6" long

-petiole 3-5" long, but no petiolules

-dark green above, light green below

-one of the first trees to leaf out in the spring and drops its leaves early in the autumn

-autumn color is orange to red, if the leaves remain on the tree and have not dropped by late summer due to leaf scorch and other foliar problems


-white to greenish yellow

-upright spikes 4-6" long

-early to mid-May

-fairly showy


-1-2" seed capsule, somewhat spiny with 1-5 non-edible seeds (nuts) inside


-gray stout stems have prominent brown leaf scars, and a prominent terminal bud that is non-resinous

-gray branches become rough or lightly furrowed with age

trunk Trunk

-short and knotty

-bark ash-grey, scaly plates

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-grows best in deep fertile soils, will usually reach maturity in 60-80 yrs.

-full sun but tolerates partial shade

-tolerates a wide range of soil conditions; all types of textures, acidic to slightly alkaline, wet soils moderate drought

-susceptible to diseases (leaf spot, leaf blotch, leaf scorch, and powdery mildew) and pests that affect most Aesculus; but particularly susceptible to summer leaf scorch under landscape conditions

-rare in the trade

-considered difficult to transplant

distribution map


-zones 4 to 7


-native to the Eastern U.S. (Western Pennsylvania to Texas)

U   S   A   G   E


-a native Ohio tree of special significance to OSU Alumni

-one of the few (the only one?) botanical mascots in our sports-crazed society


-subject to leaf blotch, powdery mildew, and leaf scorch

-one of the earliest trees to drop its leaves in autumn, messy


-shade tree, specimen

-appropriate in "natural landscapes" for the Midwestern U.S.

-not appropriate as a street tree


-coarse texture when bare

-medium texture in leaf


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


-large shade trees that have showy flowers (Aesculus x carnea, Aesculus glabra, Aesculus hippocastanum, Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia grandiflora, etc.)

-large trees with nuts that attract wildlife (members of the genera Aesculus, Carya, Castanea, Corylus, Fagus, Juglans, Quercus, etc.)


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