Buckeyes Are Blooming – Summer Garden Queen!

Bottle Brush Buckeyes are blooming everywhere and if you are in the know, you are planting more of them.  Attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, and other native pollinators by the dozens, this native is a great understory plant for shady woodland areas. Deer and rabbit resistant, it forms a dense, mounded, suckering, deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub which typically grows 6-12′ tall.

An old-fashioned plant that you see in more established gardens, this is a plant that deserves more recognition. Hybridizers haven’t changed it and fooled with it, and it doesn’t need to be transformed as it is a wonderful plant as is.

Bottlebrush Buckeye, Aesculus parviflora, is a wonderful native shrub

Long racemes (12 – 14″) of fragrant white flowers emerge in early July and last for weeks that attract every pollinator around. In the Horse Chestnut family, the handsome five to seven-part leaves lend a textural contrast to shady and sunny areas.

Swallowtail on Bottlebrush flower

Known for its summer blooming when most shrubs have finished, bottlebrush is not suited for small gardens. Think of a large shrub covering an area at least 8-10′ wide and high, and putting on a show for at least a month, and most gardeners pass this by as they have much smaller gardens. Mixed into a shrub border, used as a screen, or a backdrop to a perennial border, Bottlebrush has many uses in the landscape. Requiring no pampering, and very adaptable to most garden conditions, this shrub deserves a spot in more gardens.

Turning a buttery yellow in the fall, this shrub shines in the fall as well as the mid-summer. Seek it out as many nurseries don’t carry it, but specialty native nurseries should sell it.


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