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Aesculus flava (Sweet buckeye)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Aesculus flava

Aesculus flava Aiton

Sweet buckeye, Yellow buckeye

Hippocastanaceae (Horse-Chestnut Family)

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 Characteristics

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

Bloom Information

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

Distribution

USA: AL , DC , GA , IL , IN , KY , MD , MS , NC , NJ , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
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.

Benefit

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

Propagation

Description: 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

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU FACU FACU FACU
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.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

USDA: Find Aesculus flava in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aesculus flava in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aesculus flava

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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