Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Red Buckeye

TPP hasn't mentioned red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) before and that can't be explained. For one thing, our red buckeyes are from the point of view of the Phactor's kitchen observatory behind the Carolina silverbell tree, which is pretty spectacular, so the buckeyes are easily overlooked from afar. The red buckeyes began flowering before the silverbell and now the silverbell is totally done and the red buckeyes still have an eye-catching display. Although they grow into a small tree, ours have remainded bushes and they do well on a shady margin. A large burr oak keeps smashing one of the red buckeyes as though it didn't like it. So clearly they can be maintained in a smaller size by careful pruning.  Although this cannot be confirmed, apparently hummingbirds like red buckeye; hummingbirds are regular but not common visitors to our gardens and since the buckeyes are way out there in the back garden, hummingbirds are too small to notice at that distance. At any rate red buckeyes are a highly recommended flowering shrub/tree and generally they are under planted. Around here the larger, ornamental horse chesnuts are becoming quite popular, which in spite of their name are another species of Aesculus; with their really gaudy inflorescences these horse chestnuts do provide quite a flowering spectacle, but they also become a big tree.  The smaller buckeyes, bottlebrush and red, are more versatile, when you can find them, and they can be a bit slow getting started especially from seed.

No comments: