|Aesculus to the right.|
An impressive and elegant plant, the bottlebrush buckeye can get 8 feet high and wide in Chicago. Generally a slow grower, it also produces new shoots from the ground that can grow a few feet in a single year. If you like the location of a shoot, let it grow. If you don't, cut it off at the ground. No rush. This is a very low maintenance plant. No serious diseases or insect problems; adapts to different soils; at home in both sun and shade. The established stems do not need pruning, but can easily be trimmed to stay at the size you want.
As an added bonus, very few weeds try to grow under the canopy of these buckeyes. The reason for this is a mystery, but welcome nonetheless.
|These flowers are in the early stage of bloom.|
The leaves and leaf clusters have an almost tropical look. The mid-summer flowers are outstanding, and even the seed capsules are quite striking. (In Chicago fruiting is sparse, so there is almost no mess.) Buckeyes can be used as specimen plants or planted in masses -- under shade trees, for example.
You are not just doing our native flora a favor when you give a home to this magnificent plant; you are doing yourself a favor as well.