An avid fan of college football knows that the little stickers attached to the helmets of Ohio State football players, as an acknowledgement of a good play, are Buckeyes. What is lesser know is the origin of the term Buckeye and how the state came to be known as the Buckeye State. What is now known as the Buckeye Tree is actually properly called Aesculus in botanical terms. The term Buckeye was derived from the Native Americans who inhabited the state.
The tree produces chestnut brown nuts with a glossy texture and a white eye which resembles the open eye of a male deer or buck. Thus the term Buckeye was coined for the tree which would eventually become the official state tree on October 2, 1953. The Native Americans used the Buckeye nuts for food, through roasting or mashing the nuts, as well as for medicinal purposes.
Today the Buckeye tree is closely associated with Ohio and its rich history.