Yellow Buckeye Aesculus flava

The Yellow Buckeye, also known as the Sweet Buckeye, is a species of Horse Chestnut native to south-eastern USA. It was introduced to Britain in 1764. It gets its name from the fact that the seed is in the form of a ‘Conker’ which reminded the early settlers of the USA of a buck’s eye. It has yellow flowers.

Tree in May

Yellow Buckeye leaf

The leaf is Palmate with 5 leaflets. Each leaflet has a 1cm stalk.

Yellow Buckeye flowers

Flower buds about to open in early May

Yellow Buckeye flowers

Yellow-green flowers open in mid-May

Yellow Buckeye flower

Individual flowers have petals that are pale yellow on the outside but the rear petal is bright red inside, to attract insects. The orange anthers on the pale stamens are almost hidden by the petals.

Yellow Buckeye nut

The fruit is a capsule like the Horse Chestnut but the husk has no spines and is similar to the fruit of the Indian Horse Chestnut. The nut inside the husk is like a ‘conker’. To the early settlers it reminded them of the eye of a male deer and hence the name ‘buckeye’.

Yellow Buckeye bark

The bark of old trees is scaly.

Yellow Buckeye terminal bud

Close-up of the terminal bud showing the bud scales. The terminal bud is smooth and not sticky like the Horse Chestnut.