This large shrub or small (often multi-stemmed) tree is very ornamental early in the year. Its dark red flowers begin blooming as ruby-throated hummingbirds return to Missouri in April.
Red buckeye often loses its leaves toward the end of summer. This is normal especially during years with little rainfall. In the meantime, it focuses its energy on producing buckeyes (the large seeds). The buckeyes and foliage are toxic if ingested and avoided by deer and most insects. Squirrels, however, are big fans and will help you plant more buckeyes throughout the neighborhood. A poison has reportedly been made from the seeds and foliage which stupefies fish and makes them easier to harvest from slow-moving or stagnant water (not a legal method for fishing nowadays).