In a pocket of Mizzou Botanic Garden, tucked behind Mumford and Whitten halls, grows a collection of buckeyes, sometimes known as horsechestnuts. Seven of the 23 Aesculus species accepted by The Plant List — a working list of all known species maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden — are represented.

With slight variations, buckeyes have dark green leaves that are palmately compound: five to seven lovely, ribbed leaflets arise from a single petiole, or stem, often drooping gracefully. The trees’ large leaves produce a high grade of shade. But this time of year, more welcome than cooling shade, are buckeye’s gorgeous blooms, consisting of large panicles, or bloom candles, of tubular flowers. They range in color from white to yellow, pink and red, and shoot from the ends of the trees’ leafy branches. To take in this show, please direct your feet to the corner of University Avenue and Hitt Street.

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  • Jan Wiese-Fales writes about the Mizzou Botanic Garden. Her columns appear twice monthly in the Missourian.