UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County


Tree- California Buckeye

California Buckeye photo by dbaron
Common Name: California Buckeye

Botanical Name: Aesculus californica

Family: Hippocastanaceae

Description: Deciduous tree native to dry slopes and canyons in California coastal ranges and the Sierra Nevada foothills below 4,000 feet

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Little; drought tolerant

Soil: Adaptable

Habit and form: Grows to 10-20 feet or taller with 30 foot spread; often multi-trunked

Flower type: Plume, in dense clusters; become pear-shaped fruit with shiny brown seeds

Flower color & bloom season: Fragrant, cream-colored flower plumes in spring

California Buckeye seed pod photo by EugeneZelenko
Uses, if any, for plant and/or flowers: Flowers attract hummingbirds; seed pods in dried flower arrangements

Pruning time & method: Prune established trees in winter months only to remove dead or damaged wood and awkward branches

Maintenance tips: Seeds sprout freely

Note: The flowers, fruit and seeds of the California Buckeye are poisonous.

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