Hippocastanaceae
The Buckeye Family
 
 
    The buckeye family is a small family of plants which includes 3 genera and about 25 species of trees and shrubs that are widely distributed throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America, India, eastern Asia, and southern Europe.  One plant from this family is common in Florida.
 
 

 Click on the links below for an introduction to a tree of this family:
 
red buckeye
 
 
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Aesculus pavia
red buckeye
 
 

Habit

    The red buckeye is a shrub or small understory tree that may reach 20-30 feet in height.  It is characterized by attractive compound leaves and upright clusters of dark red flowers.
 

Leaves

    Leaves are palmately compound, opposite, and deciduous.  There are 5, sometimes 7, leaflets per leaf, which are oval to elliptic in shape, with an acute apex.  The leaflet bases are tapered.  Leaf margins are irregularly serrate or doubly serrate.  The leaf surfaces are dark green and glabrous or sparsely pubescent above, slightly paler below.  Leaf petioles are stout at the base, tapering slightly to the leaflets, and are 3-5 inches long.
 

Flowers
 
    The flowers are polygamous, irregular, upright, and dark red.
 

Fruit
 
    Fruit is a small, brown, leathery capsule, 1-2 inches in diameter.
 

Twigs

    The twigs are stout, dark reddish-brown, and pubescent at first, becoming gray and glabrous.  The pith is small, white, and homogeneous.
 

Bark

    The bark is gray-brown or dark brown.
 

Habitat

    The red buckeye grows in mesic woodlands, bottomlands, stream banks, hammocks, and parts of floodplains that are rarely and briefly flooded.  It grows on the Atlantic coastal plain from southeastern North Carolina to central Florida; west to central Texas; north to southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, and northwestern Georgia.
 

Use

    This tree is used as a handsome ornamental in parks and on lawns.
 
 

Click on the link below to see more information on and/or images of this tree (use the "Back" function to return here):
 
More
 
Query the USDA Plant Database
 
 

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