Aesculus hippocastanum - European Horsechestnut
Family: Hippocastanaceae

Hear the scientific name

Aesculus hippocastanum is a large deciduous tree, known for its tall stately habit, prominent white flowers, and large nuts. European Horsechestnut is not widely planted in the U.S. because of potentially severe problems with leaf scorch. It is extremely common in Western Europe.

Alternate common name: Common Horsechestnut

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-large tree

-to 80' tall x 40' wide

-upright oval

-medium growth rate

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-opposite arrangement

-dark green; deciduous; palmately compound with 7 (sometimes 5) leaflets that fuse at their bases (no petiolules)

-obovate leaflets (widest near the apex); acuminate (narrow tip); doubly serrate

-early to leaf out; orange pubescence on emerging petiole

-susceptible to unsightly leaf scorch and/or powdery mildew by Aug.

-autumn color - poor; scorched light brown to brown-yellow


-white with red and yellow blotches at corolla base

-12" long x 4" wide erect inflorescence of many solitary flowers; spectacular display

-mid-May; inflorescence stands out above foliage


-light brown spiny capsule

-splitting in Sept.-Oct. to yield 1 or 2 - 1.25" dark brown nuts with a prominent white "buck eye"


-gray stout stem; prominent brown leaf scars

-very large terminal dark brown bud(s) with large scales and a coating of shiny, sticky resin in late autumn through late winter

-lateral buds smaller; branches light gray, rough


-dark gray to brown

-fissured then becoming platy; eventually exposing a light orange interior bark; noticeable and quite ornamental

C   U   L   T   U   R   E


-full sun to partial shade

-prefers a moist, well-drained soil

-tolerates urban stress but will not look attractive due to leaf scorch, especially in hot, dry summers (common in Ohio)

-low availability in B&B form


-zones 4 to 7


-native to Europe

U   S   A   G   E


-stately specimen tree with early prominent white inflorescences


-moderate to severe leaf scorch or powdery mildew in mid- to late-summer


-specimen and shade tree for large properties like campuses

-widely grown in Europe as a street tree where it seems less susceptible to disfiguring leaf scorch


-bold in foliage and when bare

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S

Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-large specimen trees (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus macrocarpa, Q. bicolor, etc.); spring white-flowering trees


Press the Back button in your browser.