Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bottlebrush Buckeye
Aesculus parviflora

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aesculus (ES-kew-lus) (Info)
Species: parviflora (par-VEE-flor-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Aesculus glabra var. arguta

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 33 photos.
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9 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jamie_A On Jul 22, 2013, jamie_A from High Ridge, MO wrote:

I love this plant! I am trying to propagate via seed and not sure if I wait till fall and the seeds are dry or do it now in pots? one other site said don't let them dry out?
can you guys help me out?

Positive plant_it On May 17, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Rarely eaten by deer. Squirrels and chipmunks love the protein-rich nuts that ripen in the fall.

Bottlebrush buckeye thrives in light shade, but it also does well in full sun as long as it is well mulched and plenty of moisture is provided. In heavy shade the summer blooms will probably be a little scantier, but the bright yellow fall color will not be diminished. Likes average, medium, well-drained soils. Prefers rich, moist loams. Intolerant of dry soils, particularly in the early years before its root system becomes well established. Pruning is usually unnecessary. Native to rich woodland areas in Alabama, Georgia and northern Florida. It is winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5.

Mid-summer bloom can be spectacular. Flowers give way to glossy inedible, pear-shaped nuts (buckeyes) encased in husks. Foliage turns yellow in autumn.

Uses in the Landscape: One of the best shrubs for screening because of its suckering characteristics. Ideal for understory planting in woodland gardens, as a specimen plant, or in a shrub border.

Positive joraines On Mar 24, 2013, joraines from Inman, SC wrote:

Saw a huge specimen on the grounds of the Highlands Inn in Highlands, North Carolina last year. It was magnificent--at least 15' wide and nearly that tall. I intend to order it to go under some trees in a large opening down along our creek this year.

Positive lshields On Jul 10, 2010, lshields from Sag Harbor, NY wrote:

Grows very well in deep shade. I have a number lining a shaded driveway and they're interesting to watch throughout the whole summer. Deer will eat them during winter so I have them in wire mesh that arent' seen during summer due to foliage. Deer prune them back naturally during winter. An acceptable arrangement.

Water heavily during flowering for maximum spikelets.

Positive braun06 On Apr 10, 2010, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

It can take 2 years for seeds to germinate if you grow them the old fashioned way. You have to be patient and watch the ground in spring.

Positive ViburnumValley On Apr 15, 2007, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Bottlebrush buckeye should be in every landscape in which it fits. It is a large shrub (10'+ high in time, and half again as wide) but incredibly rewarding for the wondrous numbers of flowers on every terminal in June (in KY). You can extend this flowering season further by planting Aesculus parviflora var. serotina and its clones.

The pollinating and nectar-gathering insects just go hog wild. Walking by the plants here (see pictures) is amazing; the air literally hums with bug activity. They pay no attention to humans, as they have struck gold.

Come fall, there are plenty of seed to be gathered from which to easily grow new young bottlebrush buckeyes. The fall color is a glowing gold. Winter provides respite with the slender open gray stems, suitable for underplanting a plethora of spring bulbs.

Have you planted yours yet?

Positive Davidsan On Jul 24, 2005, Davidsan from Springfield, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a rally NEAT plant...and easy to grow...I bought my first one about 8-10 years ago ...a 40 twig ..., But now it's 10x10 (i haven't trimmed much can be kept much smaller. I have grown several others from seeds and they seem to be JUST LIKE the mother plant..... they take about 2-3 years from "twig" to bloom but it's worth it. Anyone wanting to trade seedlings let me know... i'll stick a few buckeyes in pots and vala next spring they be good to go zone 5b

Positive sanity101 On Jun 3, 2005, sanity101 from Dublin, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very easy going plant, with a nice tall habit and impressive flowers. It is thriving in a good deal of shade, with fairly limited water very recently after planting.

It has an arched habit which facilitates placing smaller plants beneath it.

Highly recomended.

Neutral smiln32 On Oct 12, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bottlebrush buckeyes are usually disease-free.

Seed needs to be collected in fall before drying. The capsules can only be allowed to dry a little bit without losing seed viability. Usually, only one seed will be viable per capsule anyway. After the husks are removed, the seeds should be stratified in moist sand for about 2 months.

Bottlebrush buckeyes can also be propagated by root cuttings taken in autumn.

Positive lupinelover On Aug 31, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

As a summer blooming shrub which also thrives in the shade, this is a welcome addition to almost any landscape. Virtually trouble-free, slow growing but eventually can reach up to 15' high and across.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clanton, Alabama
Opelika, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Maumelle, Arkansas
Pensacola, Florida
Cordele, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Peoria, Illinois
Princeton, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Winnetka, Illinois
South Bend, Indiana (2 reports)
Terre Haute, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana
Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Accokeek, Maryland
Eastham, Massachusetts
Millis, Massachusetts
Fenton, Missouri
High Ridge, Missouri
Fleischmanns, New York
Pound Ridge, New York
Sag Harbor, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Dublin, Ohio
Concordville, Pennsylvania
Glenshaw, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Florence, South Carolina
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Leesburg, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Cambridge, Wisconsin

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