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red buckeye

Q  I just moved here and I discovered this small little tree in my backyard.  Do you know what it is?

A:  I am glad you brought me a twig with the leaves which helped me identify it quickly.  It is called a red buckeye, Aesculus pavia. Red Buckeye is a small North American native tree capable of reaching 25 to 30 feet tall in the wild though is most often at 15 to 20 feet high. Red Buckeye is most popular for its springtime display of three to six-inch-long, upright, red flowers which are quite attractive to hummingbirds. These blooms are followed by flat, round capsules which contain bitter and poisonous seeds. The large, dark green, palmate leaves usually offer no great color change in fall and often drop as early as late September. Red buckeye lives best in cold hardiness zone 6-9a and in full to partial shade.  Attached is a publication from the University of Florida on the Red Buckeye.  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st064