Aesculus is a genus of plant which comprises of about 13-19 species of woody trees and shrubs. These are native to North America and Northern hemisphere and Eurasia. These species are evergreen and deciduous plants. The species are divided into two types. The Eurasian species are known as horse chestnuts and the North American species are called buckeyes. They are also known as conker trees.
These species can grow up to a height of 4 to 36metres and the shoots of this plant are stout and resinous with sticky buds. The leaves are palmately divided and are very large to about 65 cm across. The flowers are pollinated by insects and have 4-5 petals and are showy. The fruit is about 2-5 cm in diameter and is in the form of a capsule. The fruit has 1-3 seeds per capsule.
The species of Aesculus include:
– Aesculus arguta: Texas buckeye
– Aesculus californica: California buckeye
– Aesculus × carnea: red horse chestnut
– Aesculus chinensis: Chinese horse chestnut
– Aesculus chinensis var. wilsonii: Wilson’s horse chestnut
– Aesculus flava (A. octandra): yellow buckeye
– Aesculus glabra: Ohio buckeye
– Aesculus hippocastanum: common horse chestnut
– Aesculus indica: Indian horse chestnut
– Aesculus neglecta: dwarf buckeye
– Aesculus parviflora: bottlebrush buckeye
– Aesculus parryi
– Aesculus pavia: red buckeye
– Aesculus pavia var. flavescens: Texas yellow buckeye, yellow woolly buckeye
– Aesculus sylvatica: painted buckeye
– Aesculus turbinata: Japanese horse chestnut
– Aesculus wangii = Aesculus assamica
Growing/Caring conditions for Aesculus:
– Plant the seeds in an area where the plant shall receive sunlight at least few hours every day.
– This plant can grow in full shade but direct sunlight is preferred.
– The tree shall produce vibrant flowers and a full crown in direct sunlight.
– Mix the soil with compost in the planting area.
– The plant grows well in rich and loamy soils.
– Plant the seed in early spring.
– Water thoroughly after placing the seed and covering it with soil of thin layer.
– There should be no risk of frost.
– Seeds begin to germinate within few weeks of sowing.
– Water regularly for growth.
– Once the plant is established regular watering can be stopped.
– Maintain evenly moist soil
– Irrigate for moistening the soil to the roots.
– Add mulch to retain moisture.
– Fertilize the plant with water-soluble fertilizer each year.
– Prune the plant in late winter to remove the damaged, dead and effected branches.
– This plant can be affected by white-marked tussock moths and Japanese beetles so prevention should be done.