En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 25, 2008

From: Canton, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of native Ohio buckeye from seed
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My granddaughter has collected "buck eyes"; can we plant them to start our own tree? If so, how do we go about it!


Our webpage on Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye) has these Propagation Instructions:

Description: Sow seeds in fall.
Seed Collection: Seeds dry and shrivel quickly.
Seed Treatment: Moist-stratify for 120 days at 41 degrees. 

More complete information is in this previous answer to a similar question. And here is a page of pictures of the tree and various stages of the seeds. Be sure and note the warnings on our webpage about the toxicity of all parts of this plant:

"Warning: All parts of this tree are poisonous if taken internally. Keep away from livestock; seeds and fruits are attractive to children and are dangerous. May be Fatal if Eaten! Symptoms include muscle weakness and paralysis, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor. Toxic Principle: Glycoside aesculin, saponin aescin, possibly alkaloids."

Aesculus glabra

Aesculus glabra



More Propagation Questions

Why is non-native peach tree not going dormant in Owensville IN
December 19, 2011 - I have a peach tree I grew from a peach pit. It is about 2 years old. I planted the tree in my yard this summer. It is now about 3' tall. My problem is it is not going dormant. We have had several fr...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of mustang grape
March 10, 2005 - I'm looking to plant several vines of mustang grapes near my parents retirement home in Beeville, TX (78102). I really have two questions - what's the best way to find them at a nursery or relocate...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Propagating a magnolia by cuttings in Rochester, NY
May 15, 2009 - How can I start a magnolia snip from my already existing tree, to grow another one from it, like a starter to pass on to someone?
view the full question and answer

Germinating Mexican Persimmon seeds in Austin, TX.
November 15, 2011 - I'm planning to germinate Mexican Persimmon seeds, and plant them this spring. I want a female for fruit. Is there any way to encourage a plant to be female, and if not, is there any way you can iden...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center