- Broadleaf deciduous tree, 50-75 ft (15-23 m), upright, oval. Leaves dark green, opposite,
palmately compound, usually 7 but sometimes 5 leaflets, each 10-25 cm long, 5-13 cm wide, base wedge-
shaped (cuneate), tip acuminate, margin double serrate; held late into fall and yielding a good yellow color.
Buds large, 6-19 mm and varnished with a sticky gum. Flowers are white with a blotch of
color (yellow then red), borne in 10-30 cm terminal clusters (panicles) in May; very showy. Fruit is
green and finally light brown, spiny surface, about 5 cm diam, matures in early fall; contain
one, occasionally two, dark brown seeds.
- Sun or light shade, well-drained soil, pH adaptable, avoid extremely dry situations.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (3) 4 Native to the mountains of Greece and Albania.
Only few cultivars in commerce, the most commonly offered is
'Baumannii', which has double flowers and produces very few fruit.
- The fruit are inedible and considered poisonous. The fruit's bitter taste prevents the
consumption of large amounts. The toxic constituents amount to 3-5% of the seed and are a
mixture of saponins (aescin), including protoaescigenin (Frohne and Pfänder, 1984).
- The nut of the horsechestnut, is known as a conker in the U.K. They are used in a popular
children's game, known as conkers, where a nut is threaded onto a strong cord and then each contestant
attempts to break their opponent's conker by hitting it with their own. For more infromation see:
- hippocastanum: the classical Latin name for the horsechestnut, from the Greek hippos,
horse, and kastana, chestnut.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: southeast of Waldo, a single tree combined at the base with an A.
× carnea, probably its rootstock. Also
several trees near 9th and Jefferson.