Aesculus hippocastanum horse chestnut Hippocastanaceae AEHI*; Bx, br, pb, rd, vc, wv; NY; Q, u; K, p; R, ah, cl, h;

Aesculus hippocastanum leaves and flowers_(01)_commons.wikimedia.org

Aesculus hippocastanum leaves and flowers_(01)_commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 7/2017)

Aesculus hippocastanum is a tree to 25 m tall; bark brown, flaky; winter buds large, blackish, sticky.

Leaves deciduous, opposite, palmately compound with 7 leaflets, 10-25 cm long, widest above middle, tapered to base, tip abruptly pointed, secondary veins numerous, parallel, margin toothed. 

Aesculus hippocastanum flower. commons.wikimedia.org

Aesculus hippocastanum flower. commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 7/2017).

Flowers  white, marked with red or yellow, irregular, sepals 5 overlapping, fused to form a lobed tube, petals 5; inflorescence cone-shaped, large, many flowered.

Aesculus_hippocastanum_fruit_RJB1 Commons.wikimedia.org

Aesculus_hippocastanum_fruit_RJB1 Commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 7/2017).

Fruit spiny,   rounded, a 3-parted capsule, to 5 cm with one large brown seed. 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in New York City: Occasional. 

Origin: European. 

Habitat: Escaped from cultivation, usually in regenerated woodlands. 

Notes: Nut is apparently poisonous. Toxicity is due the glycoside aesculin (6-beta-glucosido-7-hydroxycoumarin) (Kingsbury 1964). A host tree of the Asian longhorn beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (see Norway maple).