Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Horse Chestnut, Conker Tree
Aesculus hippocastanum

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aesculus (ES-kew-lus) (Info)
Species: hippocastanum (hip-oh-KAS-tan-um) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 28 photos.
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nlafrance3 On Sep 26, 2008, nlafrance3 from Edmonton, AB (Zone 4a) wrote:

There are a couple of mature ones growing in Edmonton, AB zone 3a/b that I know of. One downtown has been there for decades and its about 40 feet tall. Beautiful tree that looks like an Ohio buckeye with nice spring flowers.

Positive Malus2006 On Jun 3, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Very uncommon tree species here in the Twin Cities - I have only seen them in tree collections but recently I saw some planted along a street - their distinct white flowering gives them away plus their leaves look like buckeyes but they are not as sensitive as buckeyes. Do anyone know why they are rare?
Their seeds are poisonous and also they grows bigger and taller than buckeyes. I have seen one at St. Cathrine Campus - St. Paul also seem to be decades old - makes one wonder why there was a trend of growing them in the past and then stopped selling them?

Positive doss On May 9, 2005, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This tree is very happy in zone 9. It is grown along roads and among other trees. It is very slow to bloom in the spring, flowers coming in May here but staying on the tree a very long time. Seed pods are beautiful and stay from midsummer until late November when they seem to fall all at once, about a month after the leaves fall. They can grow very tall, although very old trees here can be only 30 feet fall, or even smaller if they are planted in the shade. The trunk and limbs are twisted and the bark is interesting, leaving the tree very beautiful when it's dormant.

Neutral melody On Jul 8, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree can get 60' to 75' tall. The compound leaves have 7 to 9 wedge shaped leaflets. The end bud is more than 1/2" long and very sticky. The white flowers are held in clusters that are 6" to 12" long. The fruits have strong thorny husks and ripen in Sept/Oct.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 1, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Originated in the mountains of Greece and Albania. Does not like very dry conditions.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Francisco, California
Stanford, California
Hinsdale, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Dennis, Massachusetts
Milton, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Great Falls, Montana
Greenwood Lake, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Salem, Oregon
Orem, Utah
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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