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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Aesculus flava Ait.
Sweet buckeye, Yellow buckeye
Synonyms: Aesculus octandra
USDA Symbol: aefl
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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
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 USDA Native Status: L48(N)
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
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, DENatural Biodiversity
- Johnstown, PA
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2007-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff