Scientific Name: Aesculus hippocastanum
Origin: South East Europe
Common Names: Common Horsechestnut, European Horsechestnut, Conker Tree
Why is it called the Horsechestnut? The tree was thought to be a member of the chestnut family (but it’s not), and it was believed that the fruit or seeds could help panting or coughing horses.
Mature Height: 50-75 feet
Mature Width/Spread: 40-65 feet
Leaves: Opposite compound light green leaves in the spring that turn darker green. The leaves have 5-7 leaflets that spread out in a fan shape. It also has large flowering clusters that produce white flowers with a yellow and red tinted base.
In the fall, the leaves become: dull yellow to brown
Flowers: White flowers grow in clusters at the ends of the branches. The flower bunches are sometimes called candles because they brighten up the tree.
Fruit: One to five fruits develop in each flower bunch which contain nut-like seeds called horse chestnuts, also known as conkers.
Historical tidbit: The Anne Frank tree, which was located in Amsterdam, was a Horsechestnut tree that she wrote about in her diary
Did you know …
- the seeds from this tree are eaten by squirrels and deer.
- the horsechestnut tree’s fruit is toxic to humans and most animals, even horses.
- in Ireland and Britain, the seeds are used for a popular children’s game called conkers.
Released to public domain
PAGE INFORMATION WAS COMPILED AS PART OF NOAH WERNING’S 2020 EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT.