Red buckeye, Aesculus pavia, is a tree with spikes of showy, red, tubular blooms. Find facts, information and tips on growing Red buckeye trees and some of the most popular red buckeye varieties.
Red Buckeye Tree Facts and Information
Red buckeye belongs to the Horse Chestnut Family (Hipposcasta naceae). It grows in Zones 4-8 (9) and will reach heights of 10-30’ by 10-20’ wide. This tree originates from moist woods, ravines, and wooded streamsides in southeastern and central U.S.
The flowers of Aesculus pavia attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. The foliage is purplish bronze when young, turning dark green. Before the end of summer the leaves will be falling to the ground, though foliage persists longer on plants grown in shade. It blooms in sun or shade and can be placed under a taller tree such as a beech tree. Red buckeye prefers to be grown in sun and has a low-branched, rounded form, but in shade the habit is looser and more open. The furrowed bark is brownish gray.
Underplant this lovely tree with large-flowered trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) and massed Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), and coralbells (Heuchera spp.), or foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia).
Hardiness Zones: Zones 4-8
Light: Blooms more in full sun but does best in partial shade where it retains its foliage until mid fall.
Soil: Prefers moist loam with plenty of organic matter and neutral to basic soil. Apply lime to sweeten acid soil. Red buckeye can tolerate wet for short periods and survives short bouts of drought, though the latter may cause summer leaf drop.
Growing: Red buckeye has better mildew resistance than other chestnuts, but is is susceptible to leaf blotch, a fungal disease. To prevent the disease from overwintering, immediately rake up an destroy dropped leaves.
CAUTION: The attractive glossy fruits are Poisonous.
Red Buckeye Varieties
Aesculus pavia ‘Atrosanguinea’ has deep red blooms. Grows 10-30’h x 10-30’ w.
Aesculus pavia vari. Flavescans has yellow flowers that are pollinated by bumble bees. Grows 10-30’ h x 1-20’ w.
Aesculus pavia ‘Humilis’ is a squat shrub with smaller clusters of red blooms.
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