Aesculus parviflora var. serotina 'Rogers'
Common Name: bottlebrush buckeye
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Sapindaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers rich, moist loams. Intolerant of dry soils, particularly in the early years before its root system becomes well established. Pruning is usually unnecessary. Plants will spread by suckering, but are generally not considered to be invasive.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aesculus parviflora, commonly called bottlebrush buckeye, is native to rich woodland areas in Alabama, Georgia and northern Florida. It is noted for being one of the best summer-flowering shrubs for shade areas. It is a dense, deciduous, mounded, suckering, multi-stemmed shrub which typically grows 6-12’ tall clad with large, palmate, green leaves (each with 5-7 leaflets). Erect and showy cylindrical panicles (to 12” long) of tubular white flowers with conspicuous red anthers and pinkish filaments appear in a spectacular mid-summer bloom. Flowers give way to glossy inedible, pear-shaped nuts (buckeyes) encased in husks, however these nuts are infrequently produced in cultivation in the northern parts of this shrub’s growing range (including St. Louis). Foliage turns yellow in autumn.

Var. serotina is native to Alabama. It differs from species plants by maturing to a larger size (eventually to 20' tall), producing larger inflorescences (to 30" long) and blooming about 3 weeks later in the year (mid/late July in the St. Louis area).

Genus name is the Latin name for a kind of oak bearing edible acorns but applied by Linnaeus to this genus.

Specific epithet means small flowers.

'Rogers' is the only known cultivar of Aesculus parviflora var. serotina. It was discovered by Joseph C. McDaniel (Professor of horticulture at the University of Illinois) growing in the front yard of Donald P. Rogers (Professor of mycology at the University of Illinois) in Urbana, Illinois in the early 1960s. The original plant was grown from seed collected from Aesculus parviflora var. serotina plants located at the Missouri Botanical Garden. In comparison to var. serotina plants, 'Rogers' blooms later and tends to produce a more floriferous bloom of longer and more drooping inflorescences. Inflorescences of species plants are erect, whereas inflorescences of 'Rogers' tend to droop because of their long length, particularly when saturated with moisture from rain.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Excellent lawn specimen. Group or mass in shrub borders or woodland areas.