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Aesculus pavia

red buckeye add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, alkaline, rich, average, loam, sand

Height: 10'-20'

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: red

Leaf Color: green, blue-green

Hardiness Zone: 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts hummingbirds, hedging plant, poisonous, showy fruit

Flowers of Aesculus pavia (red buckeye)
  • Flowers of Aesculus pavia (red buckeye)
  • Flowers of Aesculus pavia (red buckeye)
  • Flowers of Aesculus pavia (red buckeye)
  • Flowers of Aesculus pavia (red buckeye)

Pricing & Availability


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Aesculus pavia

Also known as:

red buckeye


scarlet buckeye


firecracker plant

Scientific Synonyms:


The red buckeye may be considered a large shrub or a small tree, that rarely grows taller than 20'. It blooms in spring with large, erect panicles of bright red, trumpet-shaped flowers, much to the delight of hummingbirds. The large, glossy leaves are made up of 5 leaflets joined at the center. The foliage tends to die back as early as late summer, particularly if located in a dry or sunny area. It produces large, smooth seed capsules in fall. The 1"-2" glossy seeds, called buckeyes, are poisonous and avoided by most wildlife.


Easy to grow in average soil and light conditions. It prefers moist, well drained soil. Too much water nay lead to leaf blotch and other diseases. Too much sun and dry conditions can cause the the leaves to drop prematurely in late summer. The red buckeye takes well to being trimmed to form hedges and privacy screens. Blooms March-May. Zones 6-8.


Aesculus pavia may be propagated from root cuttings in early spring. It is very easy to propagate by seed. Fresh buckeyes should be planted immediately after being collected. Saplings may produce flowers as early as their second year.

Additional Notes

Both the roots and the seeds are poisonous to humans. Squirrels are just about the only wildlife capable of ingesting the buckeyes. The wood was used by early pioneers to produce a black dye.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Threatened: KY


Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Sapindales
Family Hippocastanaceae Horse-chestnut family
Genus Aesculus buckeye
Species Aesculus pavia red buckeye