This time of year California buckeye trees (Aesculus californicus) are in full bloom, with their tall stalks of flowers showing why they’re sometimes called “candelabra trees.” Though they resemble chestnuts, don’t roast them and eat them! Their flowers are toxic to bees and the nuts of these trees are also poisonous. Indians used the nuts and other bits of buckeyes as poison to kill fish. They also leached the toxins out of the ground up nuts by soaking them in water.

Kieran and I observed many of these trees in full bloom today on Mt. Diablo.


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