Bottle Brush Buckeye

outdoors at a botanical garden in summer with a large white flower on green leaves

This fabulous plant was first found in 1773 as collector William Bartram travelled through South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The species was introduced further by British horticultural trade and eventually gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Aesculus parviflora is a deciduous, suckering shrub that grows to be 3 – 5 meters tall. The leaves are large, palmately compound, and arranged in opposite pairs. The leaves have 5 -7 leaflets, each measuring 12 – 20 centimeters. This plant produces a display of erect, flower panicles that looks absolutely incredible from late July into early August. The flowers resemble a traditional, wire bottle brush which is what inspired the name “Bottle Brush Buckeye”. Each individual flower has small white petals, a tubular calyx, and several protruding stamens measuring 3 – 4 centimeters long.

This species is native to open woodlands of the southeastern United States. The primary states that it can be found in are Alabama and Georgia. It has further been naturalized in the Carolinas, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Aesculus parviflora can be used in the landscape as a hedge, a screen, in a massing, or as a specimen display. It grows best in full sun or part sun/part shade. This plant’s hardiness zones are zones 4 – 8 and prefers soils that are well drained and acid or alkaline.

The seasons of interest for this species are early to late summer. The Bottle Brush Buckeye has a moderate growth rate but is sure to wow anyone within eyesight!

Where Can They Be Found at Reiman Gardens?

This plant can be found right behind the wall of the Dunlap Courtyard. The flowers are currently in full bloom, be sure to stop by and see them today!