Horse Chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum L. – Sapindaceae – soapberry family

The horse chestnut is basically a European species of buckeye, preferred by many Michigan residents over the Ohio buckeye!

In Albion, horse chestnuts typically flower in late May and early June, which is really the only time they are noticed as street trees.  The large winter buds of this species are sticky and the twigs make an excellent example to use in teaching twig and bud characteristics for the identification of trees in winter.

The fruits are capsules that contain large seeds that look like large buckeyes or chestnuts. These contain poisonous compounds and should not be eaten.