Wild Guide


Ohio Buckeye

Aesculus glabra


Up to 50 feet

Statewide, except extreme southeast

Ohio buckeye, a popular ornamental, can be a shrub or a medium-sized tree, depending on site conditions, with branches drooping and upcurved ends. It occurs in rich or rocky woods of valleys, ravines, gentle or steep slopes, bases of bluffs, edges of low woods, thickets, and occasionally on edges of limestone glades. Young trees have dark brown, smooth bark while their older counterparts have grayer bark broken into plates, roughened by small, numerous scales. The wood has been used for fuel, paper, artificial limbs, splints, wooden ware, boxes, furniture, veneer, and sometimes for lumber. The buckeye fruits in September to October.

Did You Know?

People have carried buckeyes in their pockets to prevent rheumatism and bring luck. This is the state tree of Ohio, and Ohioans have been called “buckeyes” since the late 1700s, when Ohio was part of the American frontier.

Ecosystem Connections

Hummingbirds feed on the nectar of the greenish yellow, tubular flowers, which appear between April and May. Not many mammals eat the foliage, as it is unpalatable due to high levels of tannic acid.

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