‘The Bottlebrush Buckeye’ is a buck eyed belle.

 Long after the Horse Chestnut blossom is over

when their leaves are already shrivelled and burnt with leaf miner damage.

(well around here anyway!)

their cousin,The Bottlebrush Buckeye, is currently doing its high summer stuff.

The young growth is fresh bronze in spring and one of the great signs that things are moving.


In full leaf and flower it has all the elegance and delicacy which the Horsechestnut does not.

Presentation is all and it does this at a height where you can appreciate it, say at 2.5 metres, rather than way up in the sky.

It grows here as a gently suckering shrub beneath the high, dappled shade of oak trees, coping heroically with quite thin soil. I am sure it grows taller in better soils.

Aesculus parviflora is proving ‘highly resistant’ to the leaf miner damage being experienced by other species.

Decorative woodlanders such as Liriopes, Pulmonarias, Bergenias, Snowdrops, Ivies and Ferns perform well beneath it.

Excellent in lawns as a specimen shrub, since it is multiseason with good autumn colour.

In a large garden I can think of nothing more elegant than a whole long border of it underplanted with huge drifts of just two or three species of ground cover.

The common name of buckeye relates to the markings on the fruits. I can’t say I have seen any.

But I am not marking it down because of this. Rather the reverse, given that conkers in this country are now considered a health and safety hazard!