Aesculus glabra – Ohio Buckeye
Botanical Name: Aesculus glabra
The Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra) is a gracefully rounded to oval shaped deciduous tree, with branches that sweep low to the ground. It grows to a height and width of 20-40 feet. This buckeye originates in the eastern United States and Canada.
Typical of the Aesculus genus, the Ohio Buckeye has an open growth pattern and the ability to grow as wide as it does tall. The name Buckeye comes from the appearance of the nut the tree produces – a hard, dark brown nut with a lighter circle that looks like the eye of a deer.
The Ohio Buckeye is one of the first trees to leaf out in the spring. It has mid-green, palmately compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets. The foliage is dense and provides good shade. The leaf color matures to a deeper green as the spring turns into summer.
It produces beautiful, showy, fragrant blooms in the spring. They are a greenish-yellow color and rise up from the branches on spikes like candles. The fruit that follows the flowers – the ‘buckeye’ – is also showy but can be a nuisance if planted near driveways or sidewalks. This tree provides a beautiful fall color that is usually yellow but can also develop orange and red tones.
This tree attracts wildlife such as butterflies, birds, and small mammals. It should be noted that all parts of this tree are poisonous, so it should not be planted where livestock or other animals can graze on it.