and Deciduous Forest Trees

of Southern Ontario

Ohio Buckeye
Aesculus glabra

Location in Ontario:
Ohio Buckeye is a rare Carolinian Tree. It is found only on Walpole Island in Lake St. Clair.

Ohio Buckeye in flower, St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre, Norfolk County

Genus Aesculus: This genus includes Buckeyes and Horse Chestnuts. The leaves are opposite and palmately compound, often very large in size. Trees are monoecious with perfect flowers. The flowers are showy, with four or five petals that occur in clusters. The fruit is a capsule with one to three seeds. All parts are moderately toxic including the seeds. Only Ohio Buckeye grows naturally in Ontario.

Habitat: Ohio Buckeye grows on moist sandy soil and along river valleys.

Landscape Use: Ohio Buckeye is a small tree that makes an interesting lawn specimen with its unusual bark markings, fan-shaped leaves, beautiful flowers and large (but poisonous) nuts.

Leaves: The leaves are "palmately compound" with 5-7 leaflets in a fan shape.


Size: This is a small tree, growing up to 15 metres, and living to 80 years or more.

TREE FACT: Ohio Buckeye is sometimes called "Fetid Buckeye" due to an unpleasant odour produced when the bark or twigs are cut. Most parts of the tree, including the seeds, are toxic.

Bark: The bark is gray with scaly plates.

Flowers: Ohio Buckeye is monoecious with perfect flowers. The flowers appear in June. They are pale, greenish yellow and shaped like narrow bells in an elongated cluster. The flowers have an unpleasant smell.

Beautiful flowers

Fruit: A single nut is found in a brownish-green capsule covered with blunt spines. The capsules divide into three segments. The nuts are smooth, shiny and reddish brown and mature in September.

Seed Production: Ohio Buckeye produces yearly seeds after 8 years of growth.

Left: Nut husk, Right: Nut inside the husk 

TREE FACT: The fruit resembles deer eyes, hence the name "Buck-eye".

Wood: The wood is pale and light. The wood is easy to shape, and resists splitting, making it favoured for carving. 
Specific gravity: 0.33
Janka Hardness: 350 lb
Wood Comparison Chart

Interesting bark patterns, University of Guelph Arboretum