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Common Name:

Mexican Buckeye

Scientific Name:

Ungnadia speciosa

Family Name:



Mexican Buckeye derives its name from the superficial resemblence of its fruiting structure to that of the true buckeyes (Aesculus spp.). Mexican Buckeye grows to be a large shrub to small multi-stem deciduous tree. Its primary landscape feature is its pink-purple spring flowers that resemble those of Redbuds (Cercis spp.). A decent yellow fall color sometimes develops.

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, small tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Pink, rose, pink-purple

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Three-valved woody capsule containing poisonous red-brown to black marble-size seeds


10 ft to 12 ft, rarely to 30 ft


8 ft to 10 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Tolerates almost any soil as long as it is well drained. Very heat, drought, and soil salt tolerant. Performs better in eastern portions of the state than most west Texas natives.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.