Aesculus parviflora Walter
Hippocastanaceae (Horse-Chestnut Family)
USDA Symbol: aepa2
A distinctive small buckeye, bottlebrush is a mound-shaped, thicket-forming, deciduous shrub, 6-12 ft. tall, with picturesque, ascending, candelabra-like branching. Lowest branches are horizontal and often rest on the ground. Palmately-compound leaves turn from dark-green to yellow-green in fall. Tall, cylindric spikes of feathery white flowers with pink stamens and red anthers bloom in the heat of early summer after other eastern buckeyes have finished. The smooth nut is enclosed by a bright yellow husk.
Though susceptible to leaf scorch, bottlebrush is unique among the buckeyes for retaining its foliage, in good condition, well into fall. It is more tolerant of disease and insects than most buckeyes. Leaves may become quite colorful in fall; seemingly dependent on environmental conditions. Excellent for borders, as a specimen, or under shade trees.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Palmate
Leaf Margin: Serrate
Size Notes: Shrub up to 15 feet tall.
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AL , DC , GA , NJ , PA , SC
Native Distribution: C. GA to AL & SC
Native Habitat: Rich, mesic woods; moist ravines
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, shallow soils over limestone or loamy sands.
Conditions Comments: Though susceptible to leaf scorch, bottlebrush is unique among the buckeyes for retaining its foliage, in good condition, well into fall. It is more tolerant of disease and insects than most buckeyes. Leaves may become quite colorful in fall; seemingly dependent on environmental conditions. Excellent for borders, as a specimen, or under shade trees.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Warning: Seeds and foliage of Aesculus species are poisonous to humans if eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: 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.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Aesculus parviflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aesculus parviflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aesculus parviflora
MetadataRecord Modified: 2017-12-12
Research By: TWC Staff