I’M ALWAYS SAD WHEN MY BIG BOTTLEBRUSH BUCKEYE, Aesculus parviflora, fades from its July bloom—until I remember that there will be another performance a couple of weeks later. No, not from the same plant, but from its close cousin, the later-blooming variety called ‘Rogers,’ whose “bottlebrushes” are about 30 inches long.
The ‘Rogers’ strain is technically Aesculus parviflora var. serotina ‘Rogers’ (I know, a mouthful), a selection of a Southern U.S. native variety labeled serotina. Though much younger than my plain old Aesculus parviflora, my ‘Rogers’ is already much larger—nearing 20 feet across and probably headed for about that high. It was too hot and sunny for a good photo while it was in is prime, but you get the idea from the one below. A beast!
So big, in fact that I planted it way too close to something it is now engulfing (left side of above photo). Funny to think about this Alabama, Georgia and northern Florida native being perfectly at home and so robust way up North in my garden, but it is.
Either Aesculus makes a bold statement and is perfectly happy in shade to part shade in Zones 4-8 (and even sunnier in the colder part of its range, from my experience). Besides the outlandish summertime flowers–by the time they’re fully expanded, they’re too heavy to even stand straight up—it has great golden fall color and a wonderful shape, spring through fall.
Do you have a size-XL spot for such a beauty?
More about it, and the straight species, in this earlier bottlebrush buckeye story.