Red Horse Chestnut

Highfield Park Tree Trail: Number 3

Latin/Botanical Name: Aesculus x carnea

Range: Widely planted throughout Europe and North America

Height: up to 15m

Uses: Planted as an ornamental tree in large gardens and parks

Description: A compact rounded tree with grey-brown bark which becomes platy with age. Leaves are palmate compound with 5 or 7 leaflets. Cone-shaped flowers, 15-20 cm long vary from pink to red. Prickly fruits, 4cm in size have shiny brown (non-edible) nuts.

Interesting fact: It is a hybrid between Common horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) and the American Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia). The origin is not known, but it probably first appeared in Germany around 1820. The most common cultivar grown, with deep rosy flowers, is ‘Briotii’ (named in 1858 after Pierre Louis Briot, the nurseryman at Trianon, Versailles.