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 ?
The number of insects that pollinate the horse chestnut trees were down this spring and the trees' flowers were lost due to heavy rain.
In England's south-east almost 80% of horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) have been identified with the disease.
Tim Rose, the council's trees and woodland officer, said: "Potentially these diseases could wipe out all horse chestnuts in the next five to 10 years.
A council spokeswoman said: "The horse chestnut trees were recently inspected following some incidents involving children throwing objects at the high branches to loosen conkers.
under threat Horse chestnut trees have been hit by a fungal disease
A heavy infestation may cause trees to struggle to produce enough nutrients to grow good-sized horse chestnuts and so school playgrounds across the UK may end up bereft of conker fights.
NATURE lovers will now be able to tell their woodpeckers from their treecreepers and their oaks from their horse chestnuts - thanks to Birmingham International Airport.
Headteacher Gary Postlethwaite believes horse chestnuts may be a threat to his pupils.
Pupils from the Welcombe Hills School, in Blue Cap Road, will put in new trees this week to supplement the stately but ageing avenue of horse chestnuts next to the nature reserve.
TRW Ltd - Felling of nine black poplar trees and one horse chestnut and removal of lower branches of several horse chestnuts at TRW Ltd, Stratford Rd, Shirley.
Shaun Halfpenny also drilled and strung the horse chestnuts himself after children found a pile of them on a school trip.
Five of the horse chestnuts pose a safety risk to pedestrians and traffic.