One of our handsomest western shrubs, usually from ten to fifteen feet tall, with gray bark, and dark bluish-green foliage, the leaflets from five to seven in number, glossy on the upper side, pale and dull on the under, and firm in texture. The flowers have a rather heavy scent and are about an inch across, with four or five, slightly irregular, white petals, which become pink in fading, a pinkish ovary and long stamens with curling, white filaments, unequal in length, with buff anthers. They are crowded in a magnificent, pyramidal cluster, about a foot long, which has a pinkish-red, downy stem, and the buds are also downy and pinkish, so that the color effect is warm-pink above, merging into cream-white below, the whole made feathery by the long stamens. The shrub has a rounded top of rich green foliage, symmetrically ornamented with spires of bloom, standing up quite stiffly all over it. The large, leathery pod contains a big, golden-brown nut, supposed to be poisonous to cattle. The leaves fall off very early in the season, leaving the pods hanging on the bare branches. This is at its best in the mountain valleys of middle California, sometimes becoming a good-sized tree.
California, Buckeye- AesculusCalifornica. BUCKTHORN FAMILY. Rhamnaceae.