Yellow Buckeye

Aesculus flava

Also known as Sweet Buckeye

Buckeyes are the American equivalent of our Horse Chestnuts. They were called buckeyes by the early American settlers as the conker-like seeds look like the large round eyes of deer. The name is more attractive than Horse Chestnut, which refers to the conkers being used to treat horses with bad chests! The only reason Buckeyes are not called Horse Chestnut is that the settlers arrived in America just before Horse Chestnuts started to appear, and were named, in England. Although a spectacular tree with yellow leaves and attractive pointed Horse Chestnut style leaves it still remains a tree typical of Victorian parks. Amazingly even the Americans prefer to plant our Horse Chestnut to the Buckeye. Its home is the Appalachians, from Tennessee in the south to Pennsylvania in the north, where the timber is used for artificial limbs and cradles. A fine specimen can be seen near the Albert Bridge Gate, just 10 metres from the Park Keepers Lodge, further down North Carriage Drive, before the old Yew set between two enormous London Planes. As it is notoriously difficult to grow from seed many old trees are grafts onto Horse Chestnuts at about five feet. The seeds are unusual in that they greatly dislike being stored. It occasionally hybridises with Red Buckeye, producing red and yellow flowers as well as the orange and scarlet typical of the leaves in autumn.