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—more than 20 feet across and probably headed for 15 or so 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.
I LOVE IT I LOVE IT. Where would I put him? I know, up on a hill where we picnic.
Could either of these bushes become established in the understory where there are already tall trees? There is scrubby underbrush, myrtle, maybe some English ivy or VA Creeper, under maple… either of these would make a great summer screen for the neighbors’ backyard activities… What is the right time to plant these? thanks…
I’m new to gardening and my current property couldn’t house such a huge plant but at my dream home of the future I see him at the top of a hill right next to my fountain with a bench for reading and relaxing.
Hi, August (good name for this month!). A very good choice for just the use you imagine.
Thanks for this, Margaret! Have been hoping to see another plant profile from you again. My aesculus parviflora bloomed this year–its first full year with me. It makes me smile every time I see it. It’s in my garden thanks to you.
I am interested to know where you found Aesculus parviflora var. serotina ‘Rogers?
I have Aesculus N. Parviflora and planted it many years ago in a cold spot and is growing ever so slowly, but recently I added some more on a slope and boy those have grown at lightening speed. I would love to find this other variety.
Hi, Don/ I got it through a nursery in Chicago that was dojng business with a local nursery here and they added it onto the order for me. However: Broken Arrow sells it by mail. Look under shrubs in the pdf catalog; they’re not shipping right now, of course. Or ask your local nursery to order it in for you for fall planting.
Margaret- Many thanks
I, also, love these bottlebrushes of yours.
Love your website….
Can I plant the buckeyes and grow more?
Yes. Some years I get a big crop of the buckeyes here (not always) and I give them to a nursery near me that plants them. Note that they are poisonous to humans and some animals (but squirrels here seem to eat them).