Scientific Name: Aesculus glabra
Origin: Midwest US & Great Plains
Why is it called Buckeye? Native Americans thought that the dark brown nuts with a lighter tan circular patch looked like the eye of a buck (male) deer.
Mature Height: 20-40 feet
Mature Width/Spread: 20-40 feet
Leaves: Dark green leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets (usually 5) that spread out in a fan shape.
In the late summer, the leaves become: orange and yellow.
Flowers? Yes, in early spring it has yellow-green flowers.
Fruit? The fruit is a 1 to 2 inch round capsule with short blunt prickles. Inside the capsule is one nut-like seed, the buckeye.
Historical tidbit: “…a log cabin decorated with raccoon skins and a string of buckeyes became the symbol of General William Henry Harrison’s presidential campaign.
The following became his campaign song:
“Oh where, tell me where was your buckeye cabin made?
Twas built among the merry boys who wield the plough and spade,
Where the log cabins stand, in the bonnie buckeye shade.
Oh what, tell me what is to be your cabin’s fate?
We’ll wheel it to the capital and place it there elate,
for a token and a sign of the bonnie Buckeye state.”
As a result, citizens of Ohio became known as ‘Buckeyes.’ The buckeye tree was officially adopted as the state tree on October 2, 1953.
Did you know …
- Buckeye seeds/nuts were thought to bring good luck.
- The buckeye seeds cannot be eaten because they are poisonous.
Photos courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Tree species information from http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/trees
Photos courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Tree species information from http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/ohiobuckeye.
PAGE INFORMATION WAS COMPILED AS PART OF NOAH WERNING’S 2020 EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT.