Horse Chestnut

Scientific Name:

Aesculus hippocastanum

Type:

Tree

Habitat:

Cultivated urban areas

Range:

Native to the Balkan Peninsula; widespread around the world

Status:

Vulnerable (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NON-NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Horse chestnut trees have broad, flat palmate style leaves. These trees produce light pink flowers in May that will develop into spiky fruit.

Fast Facts:

  • The fruit of horse chestnuts are called “conkers” and the seeds are very toxic. Conkers can be used to repel moths and have also been used to treat spider veins.

  • The flowers are not wind pollinated, but instead rely on insects and other pollinator species for reproduction.

  • During both World Wars, conkers were utilized due to its source of acetone, which is used to make cordite for military armaments.

  • Horse chestnuts are often cultivated and planted in urban areas as street trees. Here in Reno, they have been planted in Idlewild Park.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

July 12, 2021, 10:41:28 PM