Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keep Your Eye on Red Buckeye

Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is the perfect small tree for an urban landscape. This native tree/large shrub flowers young in a full or part sun location. Numerous 5- to 9- inch long flower panicles are positioned on the tips of branches as decorative red candles in late April and May here in the southern Appalachian region (zones 6 thru 8).

Flowers open just before or after the leaves begin to emerge. Flower color on individual trees may vary from dark pink to scarlet red. Most trees are at their showiest in late April and early May. Hummingbirds arrive to pollinate the 1 ½ inch tubular blooms.

Lustrous palmately compound leaves dress the branches in rich green over the spring and early summer months. Disease and insect problems prove of little consequence, except that the greenery becomes scorched and spotted by late summer. Leaves drop prematurely in September, far ahead of other landscape trees.

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