Bottle Brush Buckeye
The bottle brush buckeye, also known as Aesculus parvifloraor dwarf horse chestnut is a suckering deciduous shrub belonging to the Sapindaceae family. This rustic shrub is native to the southeastern United States, specifically Alabama, Northern Florida, and Georgia and can be found in open woodlands. The bottle brush buckeye can grow 8-12 feet tall and spread 8 to 15 feet wide. The easy-to-grow shrub is primarily used as an ornamental plant in gardens as it tends to attract hummingbirds and butterflies when it is blooming through June and July. The bottle brush buckeye produces palmate green leaves on smooth, gray stems and produces showy, tubular white flowers with pink stamens and red anthers that give the shrub its name due to their resemblance to bottlebrushes. This blooms on this shrub make it an excellent choice for attracting pollinators. The candelabra-like blooms can grow up to 12 inches and are a great contrast to the foliage in June and July. The flowers on this shrub can produce nuts (buckeyes) that stay bundled in the husks. These nuts are inedible for humans and livestock but are enjoyed by chipmunks and squirrels. The leaves turn yellow in the autumn and tolerate cold weather well. This low maintenance shrub grows best in Zones 4,5,6,7 and 8 in part to full shade and moist, well-drained soils. This shrub is very tolerant of pests and weather changes and is excellent for borders or under shade trees or for erosion control and soil stabilization. The bottle brush buckeye has some varieties including the serotina and Rogers varieties. The serotina, native to Alabama, is known for flowering three weeks later and growing more substantial than the standard shrub at up to 20 feet tall. The Rogers also blooms then and becomes more substantial, producing much larger flowers than the others with blooms reaching 30 inches long.