Horsechestnut or Buckeye

This group of trees and shrubs tend to be large and coarse textured with large, palmately compound leaves. Their flowers are borne in tall, upright clusters and can be quite attractive when in bloom. In the fall, they produce nuts that can be very messy in home landscapes. This is an example of a misleading common name since these are NOT chestnuts as in "...chestnuts roasting on an open fire." Those come from the genus Castenaea, the true chestnut.

Actually, the nuts of the horsechestnut are poisonous if not prepared properly. Native Americans learned how to roasted the nuts, mash them and leached the meal with water for several days, after which they used the meal to make breadstuffs.

Newer cultivars of the buckeyes have been developed to emphasize their flowers and have been chosen for smaller size trees suitable for the landscape.

Linnaeus gave this genus the Latin name used for a type of oak that had edible nuts.

A. arguta Texas Buckeye
A. californica Horsechestnut
A. flava Yellow Buckeye
A. glabra Ohio Buckeye
A. hippocastanum Horsechestnut
A. indica Indian Horsechestnut
A. octandra Yellow Buckeye
A. parviflora Bottlebrush Buckeye
A. pavia Red Buckeye
A. sylvatica Painted Buckeye
A. turbinata Japanese Horsechestnut
A. x arnoldiana Arnold Horsechestnut
A. x carnea Red Horsechestnut
A. x hybrida  
A. x planhierensis  


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