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Red BuckeyeAesculus pavia

  • Red Buckeye shrub - Aesculus pavia
With an attractive springtime display of showy, deep red flowers, this tall shrub or small tree is quite a delight to many hummingbirds. Drooping, large 3"-6" dark green leaves emerge in early spring before oaks and maples show any sign of life. This plant is for the eagerly desirous as it has a tendency to bloom when it is just 3 feet tall. Likes moist, well-drained soil and partial shade to full sun. Grows 10'-20' high with an equal or larger spread. Makes a great specimen tree.

Hardiness Zones

The red buckeye can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 6–9. View Map

Tree Type

Mature Size

The red buckeye grows to a height of 10–20' and a spread of 10–20' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow to Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12" to 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The red buckeye grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam and well-drained soils.


This tree:
  • Grows in an oval shape.
  • Blooms in April and May, with numerous red blossoms arranged in erect clusters (panicles) that are 4–8" long.
  • Loses its leaves early, usually by late September.
  • Features lustrous dark green leaves made up of 5–7 leaftlets that droop handsomely. Its foliage unfurls earlier than most trees.
  • Yields fruit 1½–2" in diameter with a smooth or slightly pitted shell that encloses 1–3 dark brown seeds.
  • Can grow as a multi-trunked tree, a single trunked tree or a shrub, depending on pruning.
  • Makes a great specimen tree.

Wildlife Value

The red blossoms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Fox squirrels sometimes eat the buckeyes.


This tree gets its name from the whitish scar found on the each brown seed, giving it the appearance of a deer's eye.