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Aesculus flava Solander. Yellow Buckeye, Sweet Buckeye. Phen: Late Apr-mid Jun; Aug-Sep. Hab: Moist forests, up to nearly 2000 m, especially prominent in seepy cove forests, in the Piedmont only in ‘montane’ habitats. Dist: A broad Southern Appalachian endemic: sw. PA, s. OH, s. IN, and s. IL south through KY, WV, sw. VA, and TN to n. AL, n. GA, nw. SC, and w. NC.

ID notes: Aesculus flava is one of the largest, most massive, and commonly encountered trees in Southern Appalachian coves, recognizable in winter by the bark of large plate-like slabs, thick twigs, and massive form. Additionally within coves, individuals of A. flava are often readily distinguishable at a glance due to the proportionately higher abundance of corticolous mosses present on their trunks (e.g. Pseudanomodon attenuatus, Forsstroemia trichomitria, and Neckera pennata).

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: Meyer & Hardin (1987) discuss the nomenclatural issues relating to the names ‘A. flava’ and ‘A. octandra’.

Synonymy: = C, Il, K1, K3, K4, Pa, Tn, Va, W, Du, Harris, & Xiang (2020); = Aesculus octandra Marshall – F, G, RAB, Hardin (1957a), Hardin (1957b); = n/a – Tat; < Aesculus octandra Marshall – S, S13

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACU
  • Midwest: FACU
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACU

Heliophily ?: 3

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Grant Morrow Parkins | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Grant Morrow Parkins | Original Image ⭷


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