Virtues: A coarse-textured deciduous shrub with large white spring flowers and nice golden fall foliage. Great flowering shrub for the shade. Deer resistant. Flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Common name: Bottlebrush buckeye
Botanical name: Aesculus parviflora
Flowers: Large spikes of white flowers appear in late spring through early summer. They look very much like bottlebrushes, as the common name suggests. Inedible nuts called buckeyes develop in the warmer regions of its growing range.
Foliage: Large leaves, made up of 5 to 7 leaflets, give the shrub a bold, coarse texture. Leaves are medium green in summer but turn golden yellow in fall.
Habit: Deciduous suckering shrub, 8 to 12 feet tall and wide.
Season: Early summer for flowering; fall for foliage color.
Origin: Rich woods of the lower Southeast, into northern Florida.
Cultivation: Grow in part shade to full shade. Prefers evenly moist, well-drained soils, but tolerates wet soil as well. Seeds and foliage are poisonous if ingested. Deer resistant. USDA Zones 4–8.
Images courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.
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