Small shade tree with flaky, orange-gray bark. Colorful autumn leaves. Excellent patio specimen or bonsai subject. It is especially well adapted in the South, growing well even in full sun. A University of Georgia and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal Winner.
Among the rich variety of cultivated maples, this one is highly esteemed for its peeling tissue-thin coppery bark. Leaves turn scarlet and orange in fall. Easily grown on to larger size despite its propagation difficulty, and VERY tough and adaptable in the landscape.
To lump this distinguished small tree with more coarse horsechestnuts is inappropriate, as it has tremendous ornamental appeal. Shiny, scorch-free foliage and bright red spring flowers command attention. Tolerates heat well, stays small, and blooms freely even in shade. Among Aesculus this one is an aristocrat that merits far wider use in the trade. Truly a "Wow!" plant.