Aesculus pavia

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: red buckeye 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Sapindaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Bright red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Flowering Tree, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Clay Soil


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Foliage tends to scorch and generally depreciate in dry conditions. Foliage appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Can be grown from seed, and may flower as early as the second or third year.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aesculus pavia, commonly called red buckeye, is a deciduous clump-forming shrub or small tree with an irregular rounded crown. It typically grows 10-20’ tall. Showy, erect, 4-10” long panicles of red to orange-red, narrow-tubular flowers appear in spring. Palmately compound, shiny, dark green leaves are attractive in spring and early summer, but usually begin to decline by August. Smooth, light brown, globular (1-2” diameter) seed capsules encase 1-3 shiny seeds called buckeyes that ripen in the fall. Seeds are poisonous and are avoided by most wildlife. Fall foliage color is unremarkable. Red buckeye is native to southeastern Missouri where it typically occurs in low rich wooded valleys, at bluff bases, on wooded slopes and along streams (Steyermark). Flowers are attractive to ruby-throated hummingbirds and bloom in St. Louis at about the same time that the hummingbirds return to the area in spring migration.

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

Specific epithet honors 17th century Dutch botanist Peter Paaw (Petrus Pavius).


Leaf blotch can be a significant problem.


Specimen flowering tree, screen or hedge.