California buckeye

(Aesculus californica)

California buckeye species menu Interactive Time Lapse Feature  Live stream webcams of blue oak and California buckeye  Phenophase profile sheet for California buckeye  Monitoring datasheet for California buckeye
California buckeye flowering in the spring
California buckeye flowering in the spring

California Buckeye Habitat

The California buckeye is a native deciduous tree that lives in the foothills of Sequoia National Park, which experiences a drier and warmer climate than the higher elevation habitats where sequoia trees are found. It has adapted to the Mediterranean climate of the foothillls by blooming in the wet winter and becoming dormant by the hottest summer months to avoid moisture loss.

California buckeye with fruit in late summer
California buckeye with fruit in late summer

Why monitor the California buckeye?

The buckeye is a dynamic species for phenological monitoring because its life cycle stages are sensitive to changes in weather and climate. For example, the buckeye is one of the first plants to produce new, delicate leaves around February, and one of the first to shed leaves at the onset of hot, dry weather.

Western Tiger Swallowtail on California buckeye flower
Western Tiger Swallow on a California buckeye inflorescence

Sandy and Chuck Harris

The nectar of the California buckeye flowers is an important food source for native insect species. During its flowering period a host of beetles, bees and butterflies can be seen drinking nectar. Changes in the timing and duration of flowering may impact these species.

Screenshot of interactive PhenoLapse tool
Screenshot of the interactive PhenoLapse tool.

Since late 2010, we have been taking daily pictures of the same California buckeye tree. These pictures have been assembled with climate data from our weather station into an interactive time-lapse tool. Click here to check it out.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271


(559) 565-3341
Recorded information is available 24 hours a day. Park staff answers calls on weekdays from 8:15 am - 4:15 pm.

Contact Us