Window by the Pond is always an excellent destination for viewing the Garden’s wildlife and birding populations, but did you know this area is also home to many rare plants? In 2016, Bok Tower Gardens expanded to include the Wild Garden showcasing a variety of native plants and wildflowers, and Window on the Pond borders this biodiverse area.
Now blooming by Window on the Pond is Bottlebrush Buckeye (Asesulus parviflora). This plant is endemic to the SE United States (specifically AL, GA, & SC). It is very rare in the wild, with probably fewer than 100 occurrences remaining. This particular plant was wild-collected from Chattahoochee County, GA, by botanists working with the American Public Gardens Association and US Forest Service’s tree gene conservation partnership.
Conservators cannot store Bottlebrush Brush seeds long-term, necessitating the partnership to establish collections of the plant’s germplasm throughout the US to support preservation and conservation efforts.
Blooms from the Bottlebrush Buckeye attract pollinators, especially hummingbirds and Eastern Swallowtail butterflies. Be careful touching this plant as the seeds and foliage of Aesculus species are poisonous to humans if ingested.
Bok Tower Gardens is one of the participating institutions helping to conserve this planet for future generations. While the Gardens are technically too far south for this species to thrive, the plant has been doing very well in some of the shadier spots found in the Gardens.
Article and photos provided by Keith Novosel, Social Media Creator for Bok Tower Gardens.