Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Aesculus flava

Sweet buckeye, Yellow buckeye

Hippocastanaceae (Horse-Chestnut Family)

Aesculus flava (Sweet buckeye)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Yellow buckeye or sweet buckeye is an irregular to upright-oval, canopy tree, 50-75 ft. tall, with stout, picturesque branches which commonly sweep the ground. The bark sometimes is exfoliating. Creamy yellow, upright flowers panicles appear in late spring. Palmately-compound, deciduous leaves turn orange to red in the fall. Nuts are encased in a 2-3 in., tan husk.

The largest of the buckeyes, it is abundant in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Native Americans made a nutritious food from the seeds, after removing the toxic element by roasting and soaking them.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 72-100 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , GA , IL , IN , KY , MD , MS , NJ , NC , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV , DC
Native Distribution: S.w. PA & w. along Ohio R., s. to extreme w. SC & n. AL
Native Habitat: Rich woods from river bottoms to mt. tops

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rich, moist, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Sweet buckeye is not as troubled by foliar diseases as A. glabra, but needs protection from wind which causes leaf scorch. This tree must be planted in moist, rich, well-drained soil.


Use Wildlife: Squirrels eat the nuts.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2007-12-23