2018

 
 

The trees in the genus Aesculus are known as either buckeyes or horse chestnuts? The difference depends on your locale. In North America they're buckeyes, but in the UK, they're horse chestnuts. Aesculus consists of up to 19 species of trees and shrubs found in the northern hemisphere. Some of the more popular and well known of this group are the common Horse chestnut, or Aesculus hippocastanum; the Red buckeye, or Aesculus pavia; and the Red horsechestnut, or Aesculus x carnea. There is, however, one other that is a real standout and yet is hardly known and that is the Indian horsechestnut, or Aesculus indica.

Indian horsechestnut is a majestic tree that originates in the Himalayas. It has a full, rounded habit, and can reach 100 feet in height, but, when grown in an open garden, typically reaches 40 to 60 feet tall, perhaps a bit large still, but smaller than the common horse chestnut. The deeply cut leaves make it the prettiest of the chestnut family. They open in spring a rich bronze becoming dark glossy green for summer (and cast a heavy shade), and with autumn turn orange yellow.  But the real show-stopper is the bloom. In early summer Indian horsechestnut is festooned with upright panicles of white flowers, suffused with pink and yellow. This is one of the prettiest flowering trees in existence and the bloom comes at a time when little else is in flower as the spring bloomers have finished and the summer bloomers have yet to start. The flowers are followed by a spiny, green fruit which holds several brown seeds that are smaller than the horse chestnut conkers and not as heavy a crop, which is a plus around paved areas.
Indian horsechestnut grows in full sun in clay, loam, or sand; in slightly alkaline to acidic soil as long as it's well-drained. And it is moderately drought tolerant.
The Indian horsechestnut, not surprisingly, is more heat tolerant than the majority of horse chestnuts. It is very well adapted to the southern half of the US and Australia. It is fully hardy for the UK and New Zealand.

As usual, this special tree will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.

Indian horsechestnut

Stats

Trees for:  Acid soils     Clay soils      Poor soils      Seashore      Dry soils     Cold soils      Wet soils     Alkaline soilsTrees_for_acid_soils.htmlTrees_for_clay_soils.htmlTrees_for_poor_soils.htmlTrees_for_seashore.htmlTrees_for_dry_soils.htmlTrees_for_Cold-exposed_areas.htmlTrees_for_wet_soils.htmlTrees_for_alkaline_soils.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2shapeimage_4_link_3shapeimage_4_link_4shapeimage_4_link_5shapeimage_4_link_6shapeimage_4_link_7
Trees by size                               Special features                                Forms of treesTrees_by_size.htmlSpecial_features.htmlForms_of_trees.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2