Aesculus hippocastanum

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Aesculus hippocastanum L.

Hippocastanaceae

Life form: tree
Usage: economic plant / Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   4

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sand - Soil: gritty-sandy - Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: opposite
Leaves: decidious

Shape: obovate

Division: digitate

    

Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: loculicidal capsule

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Inflorescence: panicle

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Canopy: rounded to broadly spreading

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Rosidae
Superordo:
Rutanae
Ordo:
Sapindales

Aesculus hippocastanum is a tree.

Naming

Aesculus hippocastanum was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Aesculus hippocastanum is the type species of the genus Aesculus which contains approximately 28 to 47 species and belongs to the family of the Hippocastanaceae (Horse-chestnut Family).

Characteristics

Aesculus hippocastanum - habitus
Aesculus hippocastanum - leaves
Aesculus hippocastanum - flowers
Aesculus hippocastanum - bark
Aesculus hippocastanum - branches
File:Aesculus hippo seedlings photo file 592KB.jpg
Aesculus hippocastanum - seedling

Growth

The comparatively fast-growing trees have a rounded to broadly spreading canopy and reach heights of 25 to 30 metres. The plants reach a width of 10 to more than 15 metres.

Wood and Bark

The bark is flaky and grey.

Leaves

Aesculus hippocastanum is deciduous. The dark-green, digitate leaves are opposite. The leaflets are obovate and petiolate. They have entire margins and pinnate venation. They turn an attractive yellow in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Aesculus hippocastanum produces panicles of erect, white five-stellate flowers in May. The plants flower on older shoots. They are dioecious, pollination takes places by allogamy through animals.

The trees produce ornamental brown loculicidal capsules in autumn.

Root System

The plants form deep-reaching roots.

Distribution

Aesculus hippocastanum is native to Southeast Europe.

Cultivation

The trees prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy, gritty-sandy, sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 6,5 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -35°C (USDA zone 4).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • open areas

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • high: city climate

Uses

Suited as avenue tree, specimen plant, greenery along roads, bee pasture, bird pasture and as plant providing shelter for birds.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually require only a moderate amount of maintenance.


Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Spots on leaves and withering shoots indicate an infection with anthracnose. This is a fungus that may cause the plants to die. Destroy affected parts and improve ventilation and hygiene.

Leaf blotches are a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection. Bacterial spots are rather angular and yellow-rimmed while fungal spots usually are rather rounded with an area of fruiting bodies. Destroy affected parts, additionaly apply fungizide it is is a fungal infection.

A powdery white coat on the plants indicates an infection with powdery mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

White tufts or white covering on the lower surface of the leaves indicates an infection with downy mildew. Remove affected plants and apply a fungicide. To prevent infection improve ventilation, keep the roots moist and do not water the plants from above.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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