Aesculus hippocastanum
Family Hippocastanaceae

* Leaves compound in the shape of a fan, with 5-11 leaflets.
* Leaflets each 4-10", widest near abruptly pointed tip.
* Flowers creamy white, marked with red or yellow, in 8-12" clusters.
* Seeds in spiny capsules.
* Bark dark brown, with irregular plates.
* Height: 25-60'.

Natural History:
* Usually planted along the streets of central North America as a shade tree.
* Introduced; Horsechestnuts are found in both Asia and southeastern Europe, from the Balkans to the Himalayas.

* Horsechestnuts, unlike American chestnuts, do not produce edible fruit. The round fruits are put to other uses, however. Often called conkers (from 'conquerers'), they were and in some places still are used in children's games.

* Where do horses come in? The tree has medicinal uses, and Turkish people used to feed parts of it to their ailing horses. Horsechestnut bark also yields a black dye for silk and cotton.

* Horsechestnuts have colorful, wild-looking flowers, which are pictured at the right.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008