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Aesculus pavia var. flavescens (Texas yellow buckeye)
Shockley, Judith and Lonnie

Aesculus pavia var. flavescens

Aesculus pavia L. var. flavescens (Sarg.) Correll

Texas Yellow Buckeye, Yellow Woolly Buckeye, Pale Buckeye, Plateau Yellow Buckeye

Hippocastanaceae (Horse-Chestnut Family)


USDA Symbol: aepaf

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A variety of Aesculus pavia that is found in nature only on the western Edwards Plateau of central Texas, where it replaces A. pavia var. pavia. It shares most of the physical characteristics of its species but has pale to vivid yellow flowers, hairier leaves, and a small stature, usually growing no more than 5 to 15 feet tall.

As befits its environment, it prefers rocky limestone soils and is often found on northern exposures. This variety shares its species tendency to lose its leaves by the end of summer. Where its range overlaps with that of variety pavia, red-and-yellow-flowered hybrids occur.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Tree
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Palmate
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Pubescence: Tomentose
Leaf Margin: Crenate , Serrate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Panicle
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Width 6 to 10 ft., height 5 to 15 ft.
Leaf: Green, turning yellow before leaf fall
Flower: Flowers in 6 inch panicles. Two uppermost petals the longest. Stamens usually no longer than the longest petals
Fruit: Brown 1 to 2 inches

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar


Native Distribution: Limited to a few counties on the western Edwards Plateau of central Texas: Kerr, Kendall, Bandera, Uvalde, Real, Blanco, and Comal.
Native Habitat: Shaded woods, hillsides, slopes, and thickets with rocky, limestone soil, often on northern exposures.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Soil Description: Well-drained, rocky, limestone soils
Conditions Comments: Often found on northern exposures


Use Ornamental: Ornamental yellow spring blooms
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract bees and hummingbirds.
Use Other: Seeds and young shoots of this species crushed and used by indigenous people to stun fish for easy capture. Roots contain saponins used for soap.
Warning: Seeds and young shoots poisonous if ingested.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Deer Resistant: Moderate


Propagation Material: Root Cuttings , Seeds
Description: Sow seed fresh and untreated in well-drained soil. Dormant root cuttings of 3 inches sometimes successfully propagated.
Seed Collection: Collect when seeds firm and golden brown.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Water during prolonged drought to delay leaf loss.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 481 - How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest: Revised and Updated Edition (2001) Nokes, J.
Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Aesculus pavia var. flavescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aesculus pavia var. flavescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aesculus pavia var. flavescens


Record Modified: 2015-11-13
Research By: TWC Staff, GDG

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