Buckeyes & Conkers

Yellow Buckeye (Aesculus flava). This may be the first one I’ve ever seen sprouting.

Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). Looks delicious, doesn’t it? But don’t eat ’em, they’re toxic. Don’t confuse them with the sweet chestnut, e.g. marrons glacés.  The Horse-chestnut is a non-native tree planted everywhere as an ornamental. These big seeds are the originals used in conkers in Great Britain and Ireland.

Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parviflora). Like the Yellow and the (see below) Ohio Buckeye (A. glabra). these are native to the U.S. Unlike the other Aesculus around here, this one is a bush. They have long upright panicles of flowers that attract a lot of pollinators.

Another Horse-chestnut. This plump glossiness fades and withers quickly.

These Ohio Buckeyes have shrunk to about 2/3rds their original size since I picked them up on 16 October. Yes, my pockets are stuffed this time of year.

1 Response to “Buckeyes & Conkers”

  1. 1 Paul Lamb November 23, 2022 at 6:12 am

    I have two red bottlebrush buckeyes flanking my cabin in the Ozarks. I had vowed to plant only Missouri natives in my forest, and I’m hoping that the red-flowering variety meets that standard. They’ve produced the iconic buckeye fruits, but I’m never there to collect them at the right time and they’re either lost on the leaf litter or made a meal of by the squirrels. Mine are tall shrubs, but there is one (white-flowering variety) near my home that is a bona fide tree.

    The state of your pockets warms my heart, honestly.

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