Aesculus parviflora is a deciduous shrub found in areas such as Southern N. America - Georgia and Alabama to Florida. A member of the Hippocastanaceae family, Aesculus parviflora Walter does not go by a known (to us) common name. The shrub can grow to a height of 4 meters and up to 4 meters wide. The preferred habitat of Wooded bluffs and rich woods, also by streams, on the coastal plain[72, 184]., with LMH soil and FSN moisture levels. .

The plant is a zone 5 hardy plant that has medicinal uses - the medicinal usage rating of is 1Antiperiodic, antirheumatic[194]. Used in the treatment of colic, piles, constipation and whooping cough[194].

Aesculus parviflora is 1 plant, whose flowers bloom typically in 8, and which is pollinated by Bees.

Known hazards of the plant: The seed is rich in saponins[169]. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].

The plant
has an edibility rating of 3Seed - cooked[2, 22, 105, 177]. It can be dried and ground into a powder and used as a gruel. The seed is quite large and easily harvested, though it is rarely produced in Britain[11]. Unfortunately, it is rich in bitter-tasting saponins and these need to be leached out before the seed can be eaten. See notes on toxicity above. The following notes apply to A. californica, but are probably also relevant here:- 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[213]. Most of the minerals etc would also have been leached out by this treatment[K].

Cultivation tips: Prefers a deep loamy well-drained soil but is not too fussy[1, 11]. Succeeds in most situations in sun or shade[126, 200]. Plants are very shade tolerant[200]. A very ornamental plant[1, 11], it is hardy to about -20°c[184] though it is slow to establish[208]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The flowers have a delicate honey perfume[245]. This species does best on the western side of Britain according to one report[126] whilst another says that it is best in a continental climate, which would suggest that it was best grown in the eastern half of the country[200]. The trees rarely fruit in Britain except after a long hot, dry summer[11, 130]. Spreads freely by suckers[182]. Grows well on a lawn[11]. Most members of this genus transplant easily, even when fairly large[11].

. The plant should best be propagated by Seed - best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[11, 80]. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather[130]. The seed has a very limited viability and must not be allowed to dry out. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing and even after this may still not be viable[80, 113]. It is best to sow the seed with its 'scar' downwards[130]. If sowing the seed in a cold frame, pot up the seedlings in early spring and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Root cuttings 5 - 7 centimeters long in December. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot them up in March/April[78]. Grow them on until they are 20 centimeters or more tall and then plant them out into their permanent positions, preferably in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division of suckers in the dormant season[200]. The suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Seed - cooked[2, 22, 105, 177]. It can be dried and ground into a powder and used as a gruel. The seed is quite large and easily harvested, though it is rarely produced in Britain[11]. Unfortunately, it is rich in bitter-tasting saponins and these need to be leached out before the seed can be eaten. See notes on toxicity above. The following notes apply to A. californica, but are probably also relevant here:- 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[213]. Most of the minerals etc would also have been leached out by this treatment[K].