Buckeyes and horse-chestnuts (genus Aesculus) are well known for their displays of gorgeous flowers followed by characteristic nuts that often resemble the eye of a deer, resulting in one of the common names (buckeye). Horse-chestnuts are not related to true chestnuts (Castanea) and none of the fruits of the genus Aesculus are edible. They are native in many temperate and subtropical environments from Asia, to Europe and the Americas, represented by over a dozen species and multitudes more horticultural selections.
With the Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) being the state tree of Ohio, The Dawes Arboretum felt the national collection would be well represented here. There are a handful of less hardy species not represented in our climate, but the vast majority grow well in central Ohio. The Dawes Arboretum collection now encompasses 80 taxa of nearly 350 specimens.
For a current listing of the publicly accessible buckeyes and horse-chestnuts in our collection, visit Dawes Arboretum Explorer and select the genus “Aesculus.”