This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
No one traveling along the foothills of our mountain ranges in spring will fail to remark the bright green color of our common California buckeye, nor to note the light rose tint of its blossoms. One of the first to bud and leaf, it is also one of the first to catch the eye at the opening of spring. It is somewhat remarkable that the Ae. Californica is not more extensively cultivated as an ornamental tree (or, perhaps, I should say shrub) in our landscape collections. True it supports its bright green color but a short time, but its beauty for this short period, when most other deciduous trees are so bare, will surely compensate one for the labor expended on its planting and culture. It is propagated from the seed, and flourishes best in a gravelly soil, such as is found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Range mountains. The nut, though considered poisonous in its crude form to both man and beast, is largely used by the California Diggers as food.