Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Common name:

Mexican buckeye

Scientific name:

Ungnadia speciosa.

Life form:

Tree, Shrub.

Flowering time:

10 days.
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Toxic for bees


General distribution:

Mexican buckeye grows from the Edwards Plateau of south-central Texas west to Trans-Pecos Texas, and into southern New Mexico and northeastern Mexico.

Botanical description:

Mexican buckeye grows as an upright or spreading, multistemmed shrub or small tree. It commonly reaches 4 to 15 feet (1.2-4.6 m) in height but on favorable sites can grow to 30 feet (9.5 m) with trunk diameters of 10 inches (25.4 cm). The bark is a mottled light gray to brown, with shallow fissures developing on old trunks. Slender brown to orange, pubescent twigs become reddish-brown and glabrous with age. Some roots grow horizontally along the rock or soil surface while others extend deep into the vertical face of soft rock cliffs.

Leaves of Mexican buckeye are deciduous, alternate, and odd-pinnately compound. The three to seven ovate-lanceolate leaflets are leathery with crenate-serrate margins. The upper surface is dark green and glabrous, whereas the lower surface is paler and pubescent to glandular.

Small fragrant flowers are rose to purplish-pink and are borne in clusters on bare stems. The fruit is a woody, reddish-brown, three-lobed pod or capsule 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm) in diameter. The shiny, dark brown to black, rounded seeds average approximately 0.4 to 0.6 inch (1-1.5 cm) in diameter. Seeds are smooth, leathery and "buckeye lake". Each capsule generally contains a single seed.

Seasonal development:

Mexican buckeye flowers approximately 10 days after buds first appear. In Trans-Pecos Texas, flowering occurs from March to June. Leaves develop soon after the flowers. Fruit ripens in July or as late as August or October. The fruit turns dark brown in the fall and unopened capsules may persist through the winter.

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