Horse chestnut (Aesculus spp.)

General Information

Family: Soapberry family (Sapindaceae)
Flowering period in Central Europe: Early to Full Spring
Months: 4–6

Allergy potential
Low allergenicity.

Possible cross-reaction with maple pollen due to close familial relatedness.

Botanical Information

Native to North America, Southeast Europe, and Turkey, from the Caspian Sea across the Himalayas to Southeast Asia to Japan. Plains to lower mountainous regions. Introduced and widely distributed as a street and park tree in Europe.

Habit — Tree. Foliage — deciduous, pinnately compound leaves with 5–7 elongated, inversely egg-shaped leaflets, leaf margin serrated. Reproduction — monoecious, inflorescence bisexual, upright (colloquially candles), spiny capsule fruits (chestnuts).

Common species in Europe

Common horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).
Habit — Tree. Habitats — Popular street and park tree. Since the 1990s it is plagued by severe pest infestations (horse chestnut leaf miner).