Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Aesculus pavia L.
- Family: Horse Chestnut (Hippocastanaceae)
- Flowering: April
- Field Marks: This buckeye is recognized by its red flowers. The husk surrounding the
buckeye is not prickly.
- Habitat: Rich wooded bluffs, ravines, hammocks, floodplains, stream banks.
- Habit: Small tree or shrub up to 30 feet tall; trunk diameter up to 1 foot; crown spreading.
- Bark: Gray to tan, smooth.
- Twigs: Rather stout, grayish, smooth, with large, triangular leaf scars.
- Leaves: Opposite, palmately compound, with 5, rarely 7, leaflets; leaflets elliptic to ovate,
pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, toothed, green and smooth on the upper surface,
paler and finely hairy on the lower surface, up to 6 inches long, up to 3 inches wide.
- Flowers: Numerous, red, in large, loosely-flowered clusters nearly 1 foot long.
- Sepals: 5-parted, united to form a tube, red or pinkish.
- Petals: Usually 4, red, free from each other, tapering to a narrow yellowish claw at the
- Stamens: 5-8, about as long as or slightly longer than the longest petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules spherical or punching-bag shaped, up to 2 inches across, light brown, not
prickly, containing 1 or 2 light reddish brown seeds.
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