Aesculus sylvatica, or Painted Buckeye, is a shrub about 6 feet tall commonly observed along streams and on open forest slopes of the Piedmont counties of NC and other Southeastern states. Painted Buckeye’s appeal lies in the variety of subtle colors displayed by the tender leaves as they emerge in an otherwise brown, woody, winter landscape. These unfurl to become palmately compound, medium green leaves. The yellowish flowers, which are nectar sources for hummingbirds and butterflies such as the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, are not far behind. Painted Buckeye is first to emerge in the bottomlands, and also first to senesce, often dropping its foliage in August. This species is all the more prominent because it and other members of the Buckeye family are not consumed by deer, even when it is the only tender green tissue available in the woods. Although this shrub thrives naturally in the bottomlands, it also grows very well on open forest slopes and in the upland garden, tolerating full shade as well as full sun — but benefiting from afternoon shade in these hot summers.