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Bottlebrush Buckeye Aesculus parviflora

 

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Bottlebrush Buckeye
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Family: Hippocastanaceae, Horse-chestnut view all from this family



Description A distinctive small buckeye, bottlebrush is a mound-shaped, thicket-forming, deciduous shrub, 6-12 ft. tall, with picturesque, ascending, candelabra-like branching. Lowest branches are horizontal and often rest on the ground. Palmately compound leaves turn from dark-green to yellow-green in fall. Tall, cylindric spikes of feathery white flowers with pink stamens and red anthers bloom in the heat of early summer after other eastern buckeyes have finished. The smooth nut is enclosed by a bright yellow husk.


Warning Seeds and foliage of Aesculus species are poisonous to humans if eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.


Habitat Rich, mesic woods; moist ravines.


Range C. Georgia to Alabama and South Carolina.


Discussion Though susceptible to leaf scorch, bottlebrush is unique among the buckeyes for retaining its foliage, in good condition, well into fall. It is more tolerant of disease and insects than most buckeyes. Leaves may become quite colorful in fall; seemingly dependent on environmental conditions. Excellent for borders, as a specimen, or under shade trees.


Comments Though susceptible to leaf scorch, bottlebrush is unique among the buckeyes for retaining its foliage, in good condition, well into fall. It is more tolerant of disease and insects than most buckeyes. Leaves may become quite colorful in fall; seemingly dependent on environmental conditions. Excellent for borders, as a specimen, or under shade trees.


Exposure Preference Sun to partial shade.


Flower June - July


Native Distribution C. Georgia to Alabama & South Carolina


Site Preference Rich, mesic woods; moist ravines


Soil Preference Moist, well-drained, shallow soils over limestone or loamy sands.


Wildlife Value Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.


 

 

 

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