Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia)


red buckeye 1

Red Buckeye is a deciduous shrub that can grow to fifteen feet tall with with bright red blooms during April and May.  Although most of the horticultural books states that the Red Buckeye will top out at 15 feet in height, but we have news for them.    Several years ago we were visiting a friend’s property in North Georgia and her Red Buckeye was at least 30 feet tall but it was growing in ideal conditions.   I would love to know how old it was because it was a beautiful tree in a protected area along a lovely little stream.

It is sometimes difficult to transplant but you can grow the Buckeye from seed.   All you need to do is collect mature buckeyes (seed), wrap in a damp paper towel, place is a ziplock bag in your refrigerator for a couple of months before planting.    I would suggest that you would wait until early spring before potting up the buckeyes in pots filled with moist potting soil.   Just keep the seedlings indoor until after the last frost and then place outside in a protected area.   You will need to wait about 18 months before they are big enough to transplant into your garden.    Remember the seeds or buckeyes are poisonous and are avoided by most wildlife.  The shrub has great fall color.

The Cherokee would pound the nuts into a powdered poultice to treat skin sores.   They would also crushed the roots and then place them into a stream or lake where there was little current and allow the compound to stun the fish.  This enable the Cherokee to quickly harvest the fish.   The Cherokee never wasted anything, what they did not eat that day, they would place in their smoke houses to preserve them.


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