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Aesculus californica (California Buckeye)

California Buckeye


Aesculus californica (California Buckeye) is a deciduous large shrub or small tree with an open somewhat flattened canopy that holds attractive palmately compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets. Emerging pale apple green, the leaves mature to lustrous dark green leaves. In late spring to early summer, a profusion of sweet scented, creamy-white flowers (sometimes pink) with spidery anthers are borne in 4-12 in. erect panicles (10-30 cm). The floral display is quite spectacular and the tree resembles a giant candelabra. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. They give way to smooth, pear-shaped capsules that contain one or two pale orange-brown seeds. The smooth, light to pale silver bark of this low-branched tree, often adorned with multiple trunks, is beautiful. California Buckeye has an early leaf drop and is deciduous for a good part of the year. In California, it begins new growth in the warm, moist spring but usually enters dormancy during the dry summer season.

Handsome in form and foliage, elegant in bloom with a beautiful wintertime silhouette of silvery trunks, California Buckeye can be used as an accent tree.

  • Grows up to 15-30 ft. tall and wide (4-9 m).
  • Thrives in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Responds to high heat or drought stress by dropping its leaves. Occasional irrigation in the summer will keep this tree in leaf into the fall.
  • Keep an eye out for canker, coral spot, leaf spot and horse chestnut scale.
  • Propagate by seed or grafting
  • Ingestion may cause severe discomfort
  • Native to California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 8
Heat Zones 7 – 8
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Aesculus
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 15' – 30' (4.5m – 9m)
Spread 15' – 30' (4.5m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com, Sundry Photography, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 8
Heat Zones 7 – 8
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Aesculus
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 15' – 30' (4.5m – 9m)
Spread 15' – 30' (4.5m – 9m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Aesculus

Guides with Aesculus

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