Aesculus parviflora Walt. - Bottlebrush Buckeye

Aesculus parviflora plant

Family - Hippocastanaceae

Stems - Multiple from base, woody, erect, branching, to +5m tall. Young growth often reddish-green, glabrous.

Aesculus parviflora barkBark of a mature tree.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate, palmately compound with 5 leaflets. Leaflets glabrous, obovate, acute, margins entire, to +/-10 cm long, +/-5cm broad. Petioles reddish, glabrous to sparse pubescent, to +15cm long.

Aesculus parviflora budsWinter buds.

Aesculus parviflora leaf scarLeaf scar.

Inflorescence - Long terminal panicle to +30cm long(tall). Axis sparse pubescent. Pedicels to 7mm long, pubescent.

Flowers - Petals 4, equal, clawed, white, glabrous, rugose internally, to 1.6cm long, 3-4mm broad at apex, typically notched at apex. Stamens 6, exserted. Filaments white, to 4cm long, glabrous. Anthers red, 2.5mm long, 1.2mm broad. Style 6mm long, pubescent. Calyx 5-lobed, creamy white. Calyx tube to 5mm long, 2-3mm in diameter, pubescent. Lobes subequal, 2mm long, reddish at apex, rounded.

Aesculus parviflora flower

Aesculus parviflora flower

Fruit - Shiny, smooth capsule, longer than broad, with 1-3 seeds.

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Cultivated.

Origin - Native to southeastern U.S.

Other info. - This plant is gaining popularity as an ornamental because of the many long, attractive panciles it produces in flower. The seeds are toxic.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 7-10-99 and 7-13-00, in Auburn, AL., 3-6-05, and in the Red Hills of Alabama, 6-4-05.


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