Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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?

Share

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

Friday - February 11, 2011

From: Rochester, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Propagation of Aesculus parvifolia from Rochester MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Aesculus parvifolia. I purchased one plant in spring 2010---it's about 3 ft tall. How might I propagate from this one plant, or should I buy another?

ANSWER:

 As you can see from this USDA Plant Profiles map, Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush buckeye) doesn't grow natively in Michigan at all, but rather in 3 southeastern states, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington DC. You say you purchased this plant, did you purchase it locally? We realize that many people assume that if a plant is purchased locally it will grow locally, but this is not always the case. From this article from Floridata, you can get more information, including the fact that it is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. Since Oakland County appears to be Zone 5b, it could certainly survive there. However, from this University of Connecticut page on the Bottlebrush buckeye, note this comment: "in the northeastern United States, fruit set is rare due to an insufficiently long growing season."

Warning: Seeds and foliage of Aesculus species are poisonous to humans if eaten.

If you follow the plant link above, you can read our webpage on this plant. From the section on Distribution on that page:

"Native Distribution: C. GA to AL & SC
Native Habitat: Rich, mesic woods; moist ravines"

We learned from this webpage that propagation of this plant is not easy under the best circumstances:

"Description: Seeds should be planted as soon as possible after they are collected and never allowed to dry out. Softwood cuttings under mist root in fair percentages. The commercial method of propagating bottlebrush buckeye is root cuttings.
Seed Collection: Seeds dry and shrivel quickly.
Seed Treatment: Minimal cool stratification (30 days) seems beneficial."

Your original question was whether to propagate this plant or buy another. As it appears that propagation could be difficult for you, and you feel that the plant will do well in your garden, purchasing another might be a better choice.

The first three pictures below were taken in Durham NC and Philadelphia PA. The last one was taken in Cass County, TX, which is in northeast Texas and is a wooded area with acidic soil.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Aesculus parviflora


Aesculus parviflora


Aesculus parviflora


Aesculus parviflora

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Source for Dryopteris Filix-max Rhizomes in East Hanover NJ
June 15, 2009 - We are in search for 100kg Dryopteris Filix-mas (Male Fern) Rhizomes to extract oil Kindly send your offer
view the full question and answer

Sources for Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americana) in Pennsylvania
December 01, 2005 - I am interested in purchasing some Strawberry bush plants but I am having problems finding where I can purchase them. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Looking for Irises for Coryell County, TX.
May 07, 2012 - I'm looking for a hearty plant for Coryell County, TX. My mother always referred to these plants as "flags." I assume it is a type of iris. I'm looking for the one that will survive in the Cent...
view the full question and answer

Purchase sources of Buffalograss from Corpus Christi TX
March 17, 2012 - I've heard a lot of good things about Buffalograss, but no one in my area seems to carry it. One grower actually told me it didn't grow well here and recommended St. Augustine Floratam instead. Is ...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds for Nocona, Texas
August 13, 2008 - I have a place on Lake Nocona in Nocona,TX and am wanting to buy native wild flower seeds that will take the heat and little water. I have both sunlight and shade. I,m interested in the western prairi...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.