A Horse of A Different Color

Aesculus hippocastanum Flower in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Aesculus hippocastanum Flower (photo: www.comanster.edu)

Aesculus hippocastanum, or common horse chestnut, is a popular choice for park settings and a perfect tree for a large lawn.  Not to be confused with our nearly extinct American Chestnut, Castanea dentata, horse chestnut is native to Southeastern Europe, hardy in zones 4-7, with an expansive architecture reaching over 80′ tall and 40′ wide (at a growth rate of 2-3′ annually).  Horse chestnut prefers full sun with moist soil, has palmate, five fingered foliage that may bronze in fall, and a lifespan over 150 years. It produces cone shaped, lightly fragrant oatmeal colored blossoms in May, with separate male and female flowers on the same tree. Aesculus hippocastanum is also known for its curious golf ball sized (toxic-not edible), prickly fruit that falls in late summer. Following are a few other large aesculus alternatives to consider: [Read more…]

A Garden for All