||shrubs/small trees|deciduous|height 10-20'|spread 10-20'|part shade/shade|red flowers in Spring||
Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia var. pavia)
Common throughout the lower Mississippi Valley, this handsome shrub is a good indicator plant for water in the Texas Hill Country. It definitely deserves a place in understory wildscape plantings as its exotic red flowers are among the earliest to bloom in the Spring. It is a favorite nectar plant of migrating hummingbirds.
In late Winter, the glossy leaves quickly unfold, followed by the large red flower spikes. By late June to early July, the plant drops its leaves and stays bare until the next growth cycle. Because of this, Buckeyes should be treated as seasonal color and should not be relied on as a mainstay in the landscape.
The plant is orange-flowered occasionally but a true yellow form (var. flavescens) is found at the edge of range in the Hill Country.
Red Buckeye requires protection from deer as they may browse the new growth. The plant may require protection from teenagers or drug task force members who might mistake the leaves of the plant for marijuana.