Aesculus pavia L.
CC = 7
CW = 3
MOC = 23
Family - Sapindaceae
Habit - Shrub or small tree, to 5 m.
Stems - Woody, to 5 m. Tree-like with single trunk or shrub-like with multiple stems.
Leaves - Opposite, petiolate, palmately compound with 5 leaflets. Leaflets oblanceolate to obovate, acute to acuminate, toothed, glabrous to sparsely above and below. Petioles reddish, glabrous to somewhat pubescent.
Inflorescences - Terminal panicles to 25cm tall.
Flowers - Corolla red. Petals 4, unequal. Styles long protruding from corolla. Stamens included or slightly longer than corolla.
Fruits - Smooth, punctate, slightly longer than broad, to 5cm in diameter.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Slopes, rich woods, streambanks, also cultivated.
Origin - Native to the southeastern U.S.
Lookalikes - When flowering, none. Vegetatively resembles A. glabra.
Other info. - This is a striking plant and one of the first "trees" to bloom in spring. Its occurrence in Missouri is mostly within the southeastern region, though it is frequently cultivated and sometimes found elsewhere in the state. Its U.S. range is mostly within the southeastern quadrant of the country. The plant is simple to identify in the field from its red flowers and palmately divided leaves. It is toxic if eaten.
Photographs taken off Lee Rd 54, Lee County, AL., 3-23-05 (DETenaglia); also at Sun Conservation Area, Butler County, MO, 05-21-2014, Mingo NWR, Stoddard County, MO, 04-16-2015, southeast of Benton, Scott County, MO, 10-04-2017, and Millstream Gardens Conservation Area, Madison County, MO, 4-28-2020 (SRTurner).