Dec. 8, 2018

Ohio buckeye, Aesculus glabra

Paul suggested a series of flowers named for eyes. So here we go, starting with a buckeye. I've had fun with this one. I have yet to share this with anyone from Ohio that recognized it. This species of buckeye is the official tree and nickname for people of Ohio, and particularly those of Ohio State University. One would think the school might teach Buckeyes to recognize buckeyes. In my experience, many of them are very proud of their horse chestnuts, an introduced European species. They probably do recognize the fruit, which very much looks like a small chestnut, brown with a paler spot where it attached to the husk. The tree was likely named for the eye like shape and design on the nut. But Wikipedia and others will tell you a fanciful tale about an early settler with a "tall and commanding presence" who the Indians named after the tree. Ohio buckeyes are native to AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, and WV, and have spread from cultivation in ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, WI, and ON.