Red Buckeye

Aesculus paula
(Scarlet Buckey, Firecracker Plant)


Because the poisonous nuts of the red buckeye are supposed to look like a deer's eye, the tree is named the buckeye. These nuts are grown in a smooth, light brown husk which opens to drop the seeds in early autumn. The Indians crushed the buckeyes and spread them on top of ponds to attract fish. The wood has a special light, springy quality although it is very strong. It has been used for artificial limbs. In the spring, this small tree is enjoyed as an ornamental, because of the clusters of brilliant red flowers which suggest firecrackers.