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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Aesculus flava Aiton
Sweet buckeye, Yellow buckeye
Synonym(s): Aesculus octandra, Aesculus octandra var. vestita, Aesculus octandra var. virginica
USDA Symbol: AEFL
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
, WV Native Distribution:
& w. along Ohio R., s. to extreme w. SC
& n. AL Native Habitat:
Rich woods from river bottoms to mt. tops
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Squirrels eat the nuts.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Either stratify the seed or plant fresh seed in the fall, 2 in. deep, allowing it to naturally stratify during the winter.
Seed Treatment: Stratify fresh seed for 4 months.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff