Aesculus hippocastanum L.

Fully hardy, vigorous, spreading, rounded tree with 5-7-palmate, mid-green leaves, with leaflets 30cm or more long, and conical panicles of white flowers, to 30cm tall, in spring and summer, followed by spiny fruits.  To 25m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to western Europe in 1576 and to Britain in 1629.  Three garden varieties, flore-pleno, foliis argenteis, silver leaved, and variegatum were recognised in Victorian Britain.  [PD, JD].  ‘The following is M. Flaudin’s plan of making flour from Horse Chestnuts.  Grind the Horse chestnuts and mix with the pulp carbonate of soda in the proportion of one to two percent at the most, and then wash the produce until it is perfectly white: one pond of Carbonate of soda will purify one hundred pounds of Horse Chestnut to produce sixty pounds of flour fit for bread, as the salt removes the bitter principle from the nut’.  [Gard. Chron. 1855]. Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.41/1824.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.26/1843].  On the 17th July 1846 Macarthur wrote to James Graham that ‘the two laddies from Geelong have also ordered plants we have not to dispose of (the two sorts of Horsechestnut and Waratah) and have made some mistakes in the précis.’  [MP A2933-2, p.178].


Published Feb 21, 2009 - 04:53 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 05:49 PM

Illustrated are the palmate leaves and unripe seed capsules.  Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.41, 1824.

Aesculus hippocastanum L. | Saint-Hilaire Arb. pl.41/1824 | BHL

More details about Aesculus hippocastanum L.
Family Hippocastanaceae
Region of origin

Europe, probably originating in Northern Greece and Albania

Common Name

Horse chestnut

Name in the Camden Park Record

Aesculus hippocastanum - Horsechestnut 

Confidence level high