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A picture of a Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

Also known as

Conker Tree, Horse Chestnut Tree

Aesculus hippocastanum flower near Hostákov, Vladislav, Třebíč District by Frettie (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

Expected size

Height
Spread

40m

Max

20m

15m

Min

15m

50 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

A photo of Horse Chestnut
Aesculus hippocastanum PICT0026
Aesculus hippocastanum (1)
A photo of Horse Chestnut
Aesculus hippocastanum - Montes de Málaga 01

Overview

Aesculus hippocastanum is a large, deciduous and spreading tree species from the Sapindaceae family. It forms a broad crown and produces large palmate leaves divided into 5-7 oblong leaflets with serrated edges. The foliage displays attractive autumn colouration, turning shades of red and brown in the autumn. Flowers are cream-white in colour, with attractive yellow spots which redden with age. It is best known for the big, spiny fruits, which are commonly known as Conkers. These appear in autumn and this plant is commonly known by the names Horse Chestnut and Conker Tree. This species grows easily and readily from seed, but can also be propagated by grafting. Prefers a deep fertile site in moist but well-drained soil, in a sunny location but is unfussy and will grow in most sites. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems

Can suffer from canker and leaf spot (Guugnadia aesculi) problems.

Harvesting

Seeds are collected in autumn for recreational use.

Propagation

Seed

Plant in autumn into gritty compost exposed to winter weather but protected from mice.

Grafting

Special Features

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Attractive fruits

Attractive leaves

Autumn colour

Uses

A low maintenance tree used in parks and large gardens to provide architectural focal points. The seeds have been used in traditional medicines as an ingredient in creams to improve the circulation.