Bottlebrush Buckeye – Aesculus parviflora
Aesculus parviflora is commonly called bottlebrush buckeye in recognition of the resemblance it has to its more famous relative horse chestnut, this shrub often goes by the common name “dwarf horse chestnut”. A. parviflora is a species native to the open woodlands of the southeastern United States.
A. parviflora is a dense, mounded, suckering, deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub, which typically grows 6 to 12 feet or 1.8 to 3.6 metres tall, featuring palmate dark green leaves of five to seven leaflets and erect, showy, cylindrical panicles of tubular white flowers with noticeable red anthers and pinkish filaments. Early to mid-summer blooms can be spectacular as the flowers give way to glossy, inedible pear-shaped nuts (buckeyes). Also of note, hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators embrace the blooms. In autumn the foliage of A. parviflora turns attractive shades of yellow.
A. parviflora is the recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, as well as numerous awards and medals from horticultural societies within North America. This particular shrub was a favourite of Dr. Leslie Laking, a Director at Royal Botanical Gardens from 1947 to 1981, and was relocated with special care and attention after the redesign of the Rock Garden in 2014.
On your next visit to Royal Botanical Gardens, discover Aesculus parviflora in the Rock Garden’s lower garden area.
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