Not as towering or dominant as yellow buckeye, the red buckeye is a small tree that likes limy soil, often near water. The leathery fruits are thin-walled capsules containing one to three poisonous seeds that look very much like chestnuts, shiny and mahogany-like. They look much like the fruit of yellow buckeyes, shiny and hard, the size of chocolate-covered cherries.
In the 1770s, naturalist and writer William Bartram noted red buckeye as one of the trees he discovered on his four-year journey through the south.
The native Cherokee once carried the seeds for good luck, although considering the tragic events that lead up to and included the infamous Trail of Tears, their powers to bring good fortune is much overrated.