Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)

Quick Facts

  • This large, suckering, native shrub is excellent for planting in back of the border
  • Plants flower in early summer, a time that many other plants are not in bloom

Common Name(s): bottlebrush buckeye

Scientific Name: Aesculus parviflora

Image of bottlebrush buckeye flowers
Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora) Flowers

Family: Sapindaceae

Size: 8 — 12’  tall; 8 — 15’ wide

Hardiness: Zones 4—8

Leaves: palmately compound with 5 to 7 leaflets arranged opposite on the branch.  3” to 5” petiole, leaflets 3-8” long, 1-4” wide

Leaf Color: medium to dark green above, grayish below, bright yellow in fall.

Flowers: showy white 1/2” flowers with long prominent pink stamens in 8-12” long, 2-4” wide clusters. Bloom mid summer.  Very attractive.

Fruit: 1-3” pear-shaped capsules with polished brown seed.  Little produced in northern settings.

Habit: suckering, multi-stemmed shrub, irregular shape

Stem: stout, grey-brown with raised lenticels and large face-like leaf scars

Buds: 1/4-1/3” long with 4 prominent scales, covered in wax so appear white

Nativity: Southeastern United States

Insects & Disease Issues: None serious; especially when compared to other Aesculus.

Culture and Uses:

One of the best shrubs for summer bloom.  Grow plants in moist, well-drained soils—they are intolerant of dry conditions.  Without leaves  plants are not as twiggy as most shrubs, but still have a dense habit because of large compound leaves.  Plants are exceptional in masses, in part to full shade, although they will produce fewer flowers in more shade.  Their suckering habit allow them to make great borders, but plants do not aggressively spread.  Propagate by seed planted in fall, though little seed is produced on plants in northern climates because of short growing season.  Dig and separate runners or softwood cuttings in May can also be used for propagation.  Fall color is best when plants are happy—sited properly with part-sun and well-drained, moist soils.

Notable Cultivars & Related Species:

None notable

Image of bottlebrush buckeye Aesculus parviflora
Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora)
Image of bottlebrush buckeye leaves
Bottlebrush Buckeye Leaves
Image of bottlebrush buckeye fall foliage color
Bottlebrush Buckeye Fall Color
Last reviewed:
December 2021

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