Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bottlebrush Buckeye

One of my favorite sights in Princeton this time of year is a planting of bottlebrush buckeye out on Rosedale Road on the way to Greenway Meadows Park. Aesculus parviflora is the latin name, and the USDA plant website shows its native range to be South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, with a mysterious, disjunct presence also in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

I first encountered it in the native plant section of Duke Gardens, where it has grown into a broad clone on a hillside. I've seen it more recently in Central Park, and planted occasionally in gardens. Never, though, in the wild.

The second photo shows its classic shape, as it spreads outward much like sumac.

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