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Woody > Aesculus > Aesculus glabra > Aesculus glabra

Aesculus glabra

Ohio Buckeye

Origin:  North American native, Pennsylvania to Nebraska, Alabama to Kansas. First cultivated in 1809.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


The glabra species is the only Aesculus grown for its autumn colour. Although it has a superior autumn colour, it also has the most undesirable and insignificant flowers of all Aesculus species. For a large estate, glabra would make an excellent addition for its autumn foliage, however the short period during which it is attractive makes glabra a poor choice for a small garden with few specimen choices.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Sapindaceae (Hippocastanaceae)
Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 7
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
15-20 m
10-15 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Very rounded, broad form with low growing branches. Very dense light-dark green foliage, medium-coarse in leaf, with orange autumn colour. Small green-yellow flowers are borne in panicles. Bark is grey and fissured. The fruit is light brown, prickly, and dehiscent.
A tree better left in it’s natural environment, Aesculus glabra is a good tree for parks, potentially golf courses and other large areas, but not a great street tree and would not be suited for a small residential landscape.
Aesculus glabra is an easily grown tree given well drained, loamy type soils.
Rounded, broad, sometimes conical, and very dense. Pyramidal-rounded to oval-rounded in youth.
ID Characteristic
Disinctive shiny green palmate leaves turn vibrant orange in autumn. Aesculus glabra is the only American Buckeye with prickly fruit.
Antracnose is the most serious disease afflicting the glabra species. Powdery mildew, leaf spot, wood rot, canker, leaf blotch, Comstock mealy bug, Japanese beetle, bagworm, walnut scale and flat-headed borer issues have been reported.
Bark/Stem Description
Ash-grey, deeply fissured, corky-warty, scaly, platy older trunks, newer growth pubescent becoming glabrous ash grey to red-brown, with unappealing odour when bruised.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Brown coloured, ovoid, terminal, sessile, imbricate, approximately 2 cm long, prominently keeled scales, tomentose margins, lateral buds much smaller.
Leaf Description
Opposite, palmately compound, five leaflets each, rarely seven, elliptic to obovate leaflet shape, 5-8 cm long, 2-4 cm wide, finely serrate, cuneate, pubescent underside when young, becomes glabrous with maturity, medium to dark green colour.
Flower Description
Perfect, small, greenish-yellow, with protruding stamens, approximately 2 cm long, 4 petalled, borne in conical panicles, flowers early-mid May.
Fruit Description
Light-brown, broadly obovoid, dehiscent capsule, 2-4 cm long, echinate covering, seeds are poisonous and solitary.
Colour Description
Medium to dark green leaf colour, turns a vibrant orange in autumn, greenish yellow flowers.
Texture Description
Medium to coarse when in full foliage, coarse in dormancy.
Notable Specimens
Hamburger University, DuPage, Illinois, 22 meters tall with a 21 meter spread.
Seed should be stratified in a moist medium for 120 days at 5°C. Aesculus seeds should be collected when seeds show signs of dehiscence. Seeds are best sown in autumn; cover seeds with a depth equal to the seeds size.