Aesculus pavia or Red Buckeye is a deciduous, clump-forming shrub or small tree (ten to fifteen feet) native to the Southeast from Virginia over to Texas and Oklahoma. In NC it is found in central Piedmont and southern Coastal counties. This shrub has much to offer in the mesic garden: its beautiful, tender young leaves emerge very early in the season, before much else in the woods is budding out. These become 5- to 10-inch, glossy, dark green, palmately compound leaves. Soon, 4-10-inch long panicles of erect, red to orange-red, tubular flowers follow for bright splashes of color. Red Buckeye attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and many other pollinators into the garden. In late summer it produces pear-shaped capsules containing handsome, shiny, inedible Buckeye seeds. While Buckeyes are among the earliest to bud out in our creek bottoms, they are also early to senesce, the fruit ripening and leaves dropping as early as August. Importantly, Red Buckeye is one of the very few really deer-resistant, smallish trees native to our area.