Aesculus (Hippocastanaceae); Ippocastano

March 13, 2018 Best landscape design

The name derives from the Latin Aesculus, an oak species. These are large trees that are cultivated for the majestic appearance of the wide rounded foliage and for the showy flowers gathered in large panicles, which open between April and May. The species are mainly native to Eastern Europe, Asia, and North America, introduced in Italy and in most of central-southern Europe for ornamental reasons.

the rich shady foliage and the spring flowering of the horse chestnut tree, majestic specimen cultivated for road trees. "chestnuts of India": this is how the fruits of Aesculus are usually called.
The rich shady foliage and the spring flowering of the horse chestnut tree, majestic specimen cultivated for road trees. “chestnuts of India”: this is how the fruits of Aesculus are usually called.

Cultivated species of Aesculus:

the most important species in Italy is A. hippocastanum. And a large tree that can even reach thirty-five meters in height. The leaves, like in all the horse chestnuts, are opposite, palmato-composed, joined to the branch by long petioles, the big and viscous buds, the white flowers. The fruits are round capsules, armed with long, not very pungent spikes and containing from 1 to 4 bright brown seeds, similar to large chestnuts, and in fact, commonly called “chestnuts of India”; they are however not edible. It is a native species of Eastern Europe, where it lives from the Balkans to the Caucasus. In our country it is widespread, exclusively as an ornamental plant, in parks and gardens; it is usually present in the city’s trees, especially in the northern and central cities. The other species that can be found in Italy, although much less common than the previous one is A. pavia, distinguishable from the previous one for its smaller size, red flowers, non-viscous buds. It is native to the southeastern part of the United States and is used by us for the same purposes as the common horse chestnut. Sometimes the hybrid between this and the previous species is also used, namely A. carnea, with pink flowers. Unknown in Italy is A. parviflora (about 3 m), originally from the Southeast of the United States.

Cultivation:

the horse chestnut trees mentioned above are among the most adaptable tree plants that can be grown in Italy, able to grow on the most varied soils, including chalky and calcareous ones. To multiply it is necessary to resort to the seed, which will be sown as soon as possible after its maturation since it quickly loses its ability to germinate.


Also read: Aeschynanthus (Gesneriaceae).