Shade and Ornamental Trees: Aesculus (Buckeye, Horse Chestnut)

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Aesculus x arnoldiana 'Autumn Splendor'

Autumn Splendor Buckeye is a hybrid (A. flava x A .pavia x A. glabra) introduced by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and is considered a cultivar of A. glabra. Its glossy leaves maintain their dark green colour and, they appear to be scorch-free! Turning a mix of bright oranges and reds to a vivid maroon-red in fall. The (15cm tall) flower panicles are a soft yellow to green opening in May. A truly great Buckeye hybrid!

Aesculus x carnea 'Briotii'

Briotii Red Horsechestnut (A. pavia x A. hippocastanum) is the most commonly seen cultivar. A broad rounded tree with panicles (up to 25cm tall) of red to rosy-red flower in late spring. May occasionally produce fruits with a prickly husk; glossy brown seed. Dark green, serrulate, palmately compound leaves; 5 leaflets, deeply-veined. More disease resistant than A. hippocastanum, but still susceptible to leaf scorch.

Aesculus x carnea 'Fort McNair'

Fort McNair Red Horsechestnut is a new selection from the grounds of Fort McNair, Washington D.C. It has good foliage colour (more resistant to leaf scorch) and 20cm tall, upright panicles of beautiful rose-red flowers with yellow throats.

Aesculus hippocastanum 'Baumannii'

Baumann Horsechestnut, is an improved selection that has double white flowers blotched red or yellow that flower later and last longer than the species. Baumann does not produce fruit (no mess) and has a taller and narrower habit than the species. TAPROOT

Aesculus hippocastanum

Common or European Horsechestnut. Its leaves are light green in spring, darkening later. Unfortunately very susceptible to leaf scorch/blotch. Deep veining makes leaves look as if they are corrugated. Beautiful, showy flower panicles in May: white with a yellow blotch and red at the base (up to 30cm tall and 12.5cm wide). Spiny seed husks hold the ever so popular chestnuts, 1or 2 per seed husk, maturing in early fall. Brown to dark gray bark exfoliates to show orange underneath on older branches and trunk. Avoid hot dry locations to minimize leaf scorch.

Aesculus flava (syn. Aesculus octandra)

Yellow Buckeye is the tallest buckeye (20m+) now classified as aesculus flava. A beautiful upright, oval tree with yellow flowers with a tinge of green, in upright panicles in spring (15-17.5cm tall). Leaves are palmately compound, smooth with 5 leaflets and are less susceptible to leaf scorch than other buckeyes. Smooth fruit capsule holds 2 seeds (nuts). Bark is a combination of gray and brown.