Red Buckeye, or, to give its full botanical name, Aesculus Pavia, is a rounded, shrubby tree. Appreciated for its glossy foliage and early summer bloom. Suitable for small and large gardens alike, especially grown in mixed shrub borders, planted en masse or on its own.
The irregular, conical to rounded crown of Aesculus Pavia consists of dark green foliage with good texture. Each of the leathery leaves is comprised of 5 narrowly ovate leaflets, which provide a complementing backdrop for the profusion of flowers in the summer. Borne in upright panicles, the 4-petal flowers are a deep shade of red and attract beneficial pollinators including bees.
When it comes to optimal growing conditions, this cultivar is not fussy. Naturally occurring in rich forest soils and near streams and swamps, this tree prefers fertile and wet soil. Plant Red Buckeye in moist and well-drained soil, in full sun to partial shade. Avoid growing it in dry conditions, as the foliage might suffer.
Native to the United States, this bushy tree can withstand temperatures drops to 15 degrees below zero. Fully hardy in the United Kingdom, Aesculus Pavia is considered a plant of good performance and constitution. This cultivar is rarely affected by any serious pests and diseases, but be careful not to overwater it, as this can cause leaf blotch.
The bushy, conical to rounded form of the Red Buckeye tree is easy to maintain. Late in the winter or in the early spring, lightly prune the tree, removing any dead or damaged growth to prevent the development of fungal and bacterial diseases. Even though this cultivar can be grown from seed, it is not considered invasive, as it seeds degenerate if not planted quickly after falling.
Staying compact as it matures, Red Buckeye can achieve a maximum height of 5 metres, with a spread of 3 metres. Its reasonable size makes it a good candidate for smaller gardens.
Aesculus Pavia is a great candidate for mixed shrub borders. Its shiny, rich green foliage offers interest and texture for the better part of the year, and in the summer, the showy display of scarlet flowers makes this shrubby tree truly spectacular. Plant it en masse, or combine with evergreen shrubs, perennials, or for a colourful display, other deciduous flowering varieties, such as Hibiscus Syriacus Oiseau Bleu and Spiraea Japonica Double Play Big Bang.