Scientific Name:
Aesculus hippocastanum L.
Vernacular Name(s):
horse chesnut; Horse chestnut

Tree 10–15-(c. 25) m tall.  Twigs stout, glabrous with prominent lf scars and large reddish brown, very viscid buds.  Leaflets 5–7, sessile;  central leaflets mostly 15–35 × 6–14 cm (basal leaflets smaller), obovate, somewhat brown-floccose below when young, later almost glabrous except for axillary tufts of hair beneath, irregularly crenate-serrate;  base attenuate;  apex cuspidate. Panicles to  c. 30 cm high, broad-cylindric;  peduncles and pedicels glabrous or hairy.  Calyx 4–6 mm long, puberulent inside, scarious.  Petals 1–1.7 cm long including narrow claw;  limb ± broad-oblong, white with yellow to red spot near base, very undulate and recurved.  Filaments slender, curving downwards, hairy.  Capsule to 6 cm diam., subglobose, echinate.  Seeds 1–2, 3–5 cm diam., usually ± subglobose, often somewhat asymmetric, dark shining brown with prominent, elongated, white hilum.  

[From:  Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Oct.–Nov.

Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington.
Connor, H.E.; Fountain, J. 2009: Plants that Poison: A New Zealand Guide. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Stewart, J. 1971: Plants in New Zealand Poisonous to Man. New Zealand Department of Health, Wellington.