Though its common name is Ohio buckeye, Aesculus glabra is native to much of east and central United States, including southeast Nebraska. The name refers to the large, shiny seeds produced in late summer that resemble a deer’s eye.
Buckeyes prefer moist, well-drained soil and grows to 20-50 feet in height. They're not recommended as street trees, but they can add beauty and diversity to landscapes.
Other species of buckeye include yellow buckeye (Aesculus flava) and bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora). Yellow buckeye is similar to Ohio buckeye but bottlebrush buckeye is a shrub rather than a tree, growing to 8-12 feet with large, showy flowers mid-summer.
Plantsman Michael Dirr says bottlebrush buckeye is a "superb shrub for foliage effect... even if it never flowered." And Dirr quotes W.J. Bean as saying "no better plant could be recommended as a lawn shrub."
Written by Karma Larsen