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Aesculus pavia seed

It can be grown in all soil textures and is nearly pest-free. Its flowers, which last several weeks in spring, attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

tree size: Reaches a height of 15 to 20 feet, with a width of 15 to 25 feet. In the wild, grows to 30 to 35 feet tall. Growth rate is slow to moderate.

Palmately compound, shiny, dark green leaves are attractive in spring and early summer, but usually begin to decline by August.

Flower and fruit: Red, showy, tubular flowers are borne in 4- to 8-inch-long panicles. Smooth, light brown, globular (1-2” diameter) seed capsules encase 1-3 shiny seeds called buckeyes that ripen in the fall. The shiny nuts are toxic to humans.

Medicinal use of Red Buckeye: The powdered bark is hypnotic and odontalgic. It is used in the treatment of ulcers. A poultice of the powdered seeds has been used in the treatment of cancer tumors and infections, and as a salve for sores. An infusion of the roots has been used as a bath in the treatment of dyspepsia.

Edible parts of Red Buckeye: Seed – cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder and used as a gruel. The seed is quite large, about 25 mm in diameter, and is easily harvested. Unfortunately, the seed is also rich in saponins and these need to be removed before it can be eaten. The seed needs to be leached of toxins before it becomes safe to eat – the Indians would do this by slow-roasting the nuts (which would have rendered the saponins harmless) and then cutting them into thin slices, putting them into a cloth bag and rinsing them in a stream for 2 – 5 days. Most of the minerals etc. would also have been leached out by this treatment.

Other uses of : Saponins in the seed and roots are a soap substitute. The saponins can be easily obtained by chopping the seed into small pieces and infusing them in hot water. This water can then be used for washing the body, clothes etc. Its main drawback is a lingering odor of horse chestnuts.


Aesculus pavia seed