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A picture of a Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

Also known as

Conker Tree, Common horse chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum flower near Hostákov, Vladislav, Třebíč District by Frettie (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








50 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Horse Chestnut

A close up of some white pink Aesculus hippocastanum flowers
A green Aesculus hippocastanum plant flowering in a garden
A close up of a green Aesculus hippocastanum plant
A photo of Horse Chestnut
A photo of Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut Overview

Aesculus hippocastanum is a large, deciduous and spreading tree species from the Sapindaceae family. It forms a broad crown and produces large palmate leaves divided into 5-7 oblong leaflets with serrated edges. The foliage displays attractive autumn colouration, turning shades of red and brown in the autumn. Flowers are cream-white in colour, with attractive yellow spots which redden with age. It is best known for the big, spiny fruits, which are commonly known as Conkers. These appear in autumn and this plant is commonly known by the names Horse Chestnut and Conker Tree. This species grows easily and readily from seed, but can also be propagated by grafting. Prefers a deep fertile site in moist but well-drained soil, in a sunny location but is unfussy and will grow in most sites. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Horse Chestnut

Can suffer from canker and leaf spot (Guugnadia aesculi) problems.

How to harvest Horse Chestnut

Seeds are collected in autumn for recreational use.

How to propagate Horse Chestnut


Plant in autumn into gritty compost exposed to winter weather but protected from mice.



Propagate by seed for the species in autumn, cultivars by budding in late summer.

Special features of Horse Chestnut

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Attractive fruits

Attractive leaves

Autumn colour

Other uses of Horse Chestnut

A low maintenance tree used in parks and large gardens to provide architectural focal points. The seeds have been used in traditional medicines as an ingredient in creams to improve the circulation.

Trees for Bees

The best trees to provide habitat, shelter and food for bees and other pollinating insects.

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