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Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye)
Makin, Julie

Aesculus glabra

Aesculus glabra Willd.

Ohio Buckeye, Texas Buckeye, Fetid Buckeye, Horse Chestnut

Hippocastanaceae (Horse-Chestnut Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Ohio Buckeye, a medium-sized, canopy tree, 50-75 ft. tall, is often used as an ornamental because of its interesting fruit and bright orange fall foliage. Branches bend toward the ground then arch back up, creating a rounded outline. Dense, attractive, deciduous foliage is palmately compound and the showy, erect blossom clusters are held at the ends of the twigs. The tree’s fruit is encased in a spiny, splitting husk (capsule). Twigs and leaves often have a slightly unpleasant odor when crushed.

The state tree of Ohio, the Buckeye State. Pioneers carried a buckeye seed in their pockets to ward off rheumatism. The seeds and young foliage are poisonous, and the toxic bark was formerly used medicinally. Sometimes planted as an ornamental for the showy autumn foliage. The wood is used for furniture, boxes, flooring, and musical instruments. Caution: All parts of this tree are poisonous if taken internally. Keep away from livestock; seeds and fruits are attractive to children and are dangerous.


From the Image Gallery

28 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Palmate
Leaf Margin: Serrate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 75 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green above, pale below.
Autumn Foliage: yes

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , TN , TX , WI , WV , WY
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: W. PA to extreme s.e. NE, s. to GA & TX
Native Habitat: Rich, moist stream banks & bottomlands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rich, moist, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: It can be difficult to grow grass under Ohio buckeye because of the dense foliage. It is one of the first trees to leaf out in the spring and lose its foliage in fall. In hot, droughty situations, leaf blotch, leaf scorch and a variety of other pysiological and pest problems can be serious. In moist habitats, disease and insects are not a problem. Ohio buckeye is escaping into New York.


Use Wildlife: Squirrels eat seeds. Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers.
Warning: All parts of this tree are poisonous if taken internally. Keep away from livestock; seeds and fruits are attractive to children and are dangerous. May be Fatal if Eaten! Symptoms include muscle weakness and paralysis, dilated pupils, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, paralysis, and stupor. Toxic Principle: Glycoside aesculin, saponin aescin, possibly alkaloids.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes


Description: Sow seeds in fall.
Seed Collection: Seeds dry and shrivel quickly.
Seed Treatment: Moist-stratify for 120 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

How to propagate Texas red buckeye (Aesculus sp.) from seeds
May 01, 2007
I have a Texas Red Buckeye that is doing very well. How do I propagate from the seeds that come off of that tree? Thanks,
view the full question and answer

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

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


Bibref 902 - Ex situ plant conservation : supporting species survival in the wild (2004) Guerrant, E. O.; K. Havens; M. Maunder
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-04-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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