The bottlebrush buckeye blooms have shot out and up. Big white rockets aim for the meadow, the yard, the house. Kapow. Incoming.
These rangy big shrubs are Aesculus parviflora, just now blooming in the heat of mid July. They are still immature, and will get much, much larger.
I planted several in fall 2007, in a line along the edge of the meadow. The idea was to make a large hedge to screen our yard from the wild area beyond.
For the first three years they just looked goofy. Silly.
By 2011 they were putting on size, and I was thrilled when candles bloomed for the first time.
In spring 2012, getting ready to bloom, they looked like a real hedge. When I stood next to them, I realized they are now as tall as I am. They will become 12 foot high monsters and soon, I think.
When the candles open they are creamy white --- not a showy color in the full-on glare of midsummer light, but they stick out every which way in reckless array. They really do look like straight bottlebrushes, very tubular.
A little more info about growing Aesculus parviflora ---
It is a woodland shrub that wants a shady, moist location. I planted them in full sun, not having any shade to speak of. They have rewarded me with fast growth and much more exuberant flowering than they would have produced in shade, but the big leaves do scorch in summer. And I have to water them if we don't get weekly rain. Which we haven't had this year.
The leaves are big floppy palmate leaves that look just like horse chestnut foliage, and they turn a brilliant clear yellow in fall.
Bottlebrush buckeye will become very big. If you grow it, make room. I had space out in the open between the mowed yard and the umowed grassy area, but at a mature 12 x 12 and spreading even bigger by suckering, each of these five buckeyes is going to cover an awful lot of ground.
They are explosions of blooming candles now as young rangy bushes. What will they look like when they are as big as a fleet of tour buses out there?