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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 0
  • SYNONYMS
  • ELEVATION RANGE Low|Mid|High
  • FAMILY Hippocastanaceae
  • PLANT TYPE Large shrub-small tree
  • WATER REQUIRMENTS Drought tolerant
  • SOIL REQUIRMENTS
  • SUN EXPOSURE Full sun, Partial sun, Full shade
  • SALT TOLERANCE Moderately salt tolerant
  • DRAINAGE REQUIRED Requires good drainage
  • PROPAGATION METHODS Seeds

Aesculus californica
(California buckeye)

This small tree is native to California’s Mediterranean climate zones. It is deciduous and loses its palmate compound leaves every year. The flowers are striking spikes that bloom in the spring and are extremely fragrant. The nuts are toxic to humans unless processed correctly. Native Americans would use the nuts to stupefy fish in order to harvest their meat. Squirrels and chipmunks are the only animals that use this tree for food. The pollen and nectar are also toxic to bees, so don’t plant near apiaries. The wood is useful for making bow drills, a primitive fire starting tool.

Plant Uses

  • Specimen
  • Ornamental
  • Fragrant
  • Woodworking

Dangers

Toxic to animals-humans