horse chestnut

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Related to Horse chestnuts: Aesculus hippocastanum, horse chestnut tree

horse chestnut,

common name for some members of the Hippocastanaceae, a family of trees and shrubs of the north temperate zones and of South America. The horse chestnut tree, Aesculus hippocastanum, a native of the Balkan peninsula, is now cultivated in many countries for shade and ornament. Buckeyes are several similar but often smaller North American species of the same genus. Horse chestnuts and buckeyes (as the nuts too are called) somewhat resemble true chestnuts in appearance but are edible only after careful preparation. Some Native Americans ate buckeyes in large quantity after thorough roasting or leaching. Buckeyes, with their eyelike markings, are still carried as charms by some rural people. Ohio is called the Buckeye State from the prevalence of the Ohio buckeye, A. glabra. The wood of the horse chestnut and of the buckeye is soft; it has been used for paper pulp and for carpentry, woodenware, and other similar purposes. A compound derived from the buckeye, aesculin, is a pharmaceutical used as an anti-inflammatory. The only other genus of the family is Billia, evergreens ranging from Colombia to Mexico. Horse chestnuts are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Hippocastanallae.

horse chestnut

[′hȯrs ¦ches·nət]
(botany)
Aesculus hippocastanum. An ornamental buckeye tree in the order Sapindales, usually with seven leaflets per leaf and resinous buds.

horse chestnut

1. any of several trees of the genus Aesculus, esp the Eurasian A. hippocastanum, having palmate leaves, erect clusters of white, pink, or red flowers, and brown shiny inedible nuts enclosed in a spiky bur: family Hippocastanaceae
2. the nut of this tree
References in periodicals archive ?
And that long, white scar was caused by a horse chestnut.
Dr Darren Evans, Reader in Ecology and Conservation at Newcastle University,said: "The leaf miner moth is really damaging to horse chestnut trees.
There are a decent number of mature horse chestnut trees in this popular park.
Prof Evans said: "Many horse chestnut trees across the UK have been disfigured by attack from the larvae of Cameraria ohridella - better known as the horse chestnut leaf miner moth - which was first identified in Macedonia in 1984.
A strong horse chestnut twig placed in a jam jar takes pride of place - its sticky buds just beginning to burst.
All of these are threatening to remove horse chestnut trees from the landscape in the coming years.
Back in the halcyon days though, finding the gems hidden under piles of leaves was a real treat - and any poor horse chestnut tree on the way home from school was very likely to be stripped bare of its conkers in the first flush of autumn.
There's not a lot that can be done to arrest this problem as horse chestnuts are usually too large to spray, but it is a good idea to collect fallen leaves in the autumn and burn them to stop the insect overwintering.
THE other day I saw some children collecting conkers from under a horse chestnut tree and it was one of those timeless sights which I hope will never be lost.
A heavy infestation may cause trees to struggle to produce enough nutrients to grow goodsized horse chestnuts.
Almost half the horse chestnut trees in the North East could be infected with bleeding canker, a disease which causes the bark to split and weakens the branches, according to Forestry Commission estimates.
THE game of conkers faces extinction as a bug threatens to wipe out Britain's horse chestnut trees.