I just saw this tree in a neighbor's yard and was smitten by the beauty of the flowers. I've never seen a tree like this before. It's about 20' high.
Can you identify this tree?
Yes - that's a nice specimen of Red Horsechestnut (Aesculus x carnea).
This plant is a hybrid of North American native Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and the European Horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). There are several named selections of Red Horsechestnut, including 'Briotii', 'O'Neill's Red', and 'Ft. McNair'.
It is a very nice tree. One more thing to look forin the spring. Thanks!
Weerobin, I think you're exactly right--it's a Ft McNair. My only reluctance in planting it in the landscape is the thorny nuts it drops. Can you tell me if it Drops those nuts profusely? :-)
Hmm, I've never even noticed them, so they must not be too awful.
All Aesculus sp. can form seeds, known as horsechestnuts or buckeyes - though this species (Aesculus x carnea) seems to form fewer than any of the native species, at least here in the Ohio River valley.
All the Aesculus sp. seeds are contained in a skin or capsule when maturing. On some species this skin has a prickly exterior (Ohio Buckeye is quite common, and has some slight prickles). On other species - like Red Buckeye, Yellow Buckeye, Bottlebrush Buckeye - the skin is smooth. In any case, the capsule breaks open and releases the buckeye/horsechestnut seeds often while still on the tree but usually splitting when it hits the ground.
I've never heard anyone complain or even bring up the issue of "thorny nuts." Is that something you've read about? How is the plant performing in your neighbor's yard?
Red Horse-chestnut doesn't produce many seed capsules, and they are (usually) spineless, with at most one or two soft spines.
I've got a young one at the Valley. I'll try to check it out, see if there are seeds forming and the level of thorniness, and report back.