Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia)
The bright red flowers of this native shrub are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies in early spring. In the southeast, it blooms in late March and early April and you can hear the hummingbirds buzzing around the blooms.
The red buckeye always catches my eye when it is blooming. These tall shrubs are usually covered in red blooms. This weekend there was a good hatching of eastern black swallowtails in my area and I saw many of them feeding at the red buckeye flowers.
This is a tall shrub; some may consider it a small tree. It can grow to be 15-20 feet tall and equally as wide. It has a moderate growth rate and is hardy in zones 6A to 9A.
Native to the southeastern U.S., red buckeye tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and moisture levels, but it does best in moist, well-drained soil. It grows in part shade, but can tolerate full sun as long as it gets afternoon shade. Red buckeye will produce more flowers when grown in full sun, but in warmer climates, the afternoon sun will be harsh.
The leaves of red buckeye are palmately compound, meaning they have five leaflets arranged like the fingers of a hand. The leaflets all connect to one stem, which is attached to the branch. Leaves are between 5 and 10 inches across and are oppositely arranged on the limbs. Red buckeye is deciduous, meaning leaves with fall off in autumn.
The flowers are between 3 to 8 inches long and are bright red. They are really beautiful and as one of the earliest bloomers in the spring, really make a show in the forests and parks. Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies love these flowers and you will see them buzzing around.
The seeds of the buckeye are poisonous.
Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies love the flowers of the red buckeye and you will see them buzzing around. The flowers are blooming during the hummingbird migration and are a valuable food source.
Get 15 Free Freesias with any order – Use CODE 1392 at the checkout
Growing Red Buckeye in Your Garden
You can propagate red buckeye from cuttings or from seeds. The seeds don’t store well, so sow as soon as the casings are starting to show cracks. They quickly grow.