Aesculus glabra (syn. Aesculus glabra var. glabra) Hippocastanaceae
Ohio Buckeye, Fetid Buckeye, Stinking Buckeye
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, 20-40 ft (6-12 m) tall, similar or greater spread, dense, rounded form. Leaves opposite, palmately compound, usually 5 elliptic to obovate leaflets, each 7.5-15 cm long and 2.5-6 cm wide, acuminate tip (gradually concave sides tapering to a point), wedge-shaped base, finely serrate, medium to dark green, nearly glabrous at maturity; petioles 5-15 cm long. Leaf color in autumn is usually yellow, but sometimes orange-red or reddish-brown. Leaves have a disagreeable odor when crushed, hence the name Fetid or Stinking Buckeye. Flowers yellow-green, 2.5 cm, 4 petaled, in terminal clusters (panicles), 10-18 cm long, appear with or after leaves. Fruit light brown, 2.5-5 cm long, ovoid, with a prickly covering, containing 1-3 dark brown seeds, 2-4 cm diameter, they contain the glycoside aesculin, a saponin aescin, and possibly alkaloids, and are considered poisonous to humans and livestock although they are eaten by squirrels.
- Sun to light shade. Best on moist, well-drained, slightly acid soil.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native range from Pennsylvania to Nebraska, Kansas and Alabama.
- glabra: smooth, a reference to the leaves.