Aesculus × carnea
It is a hybrid of the American Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and the European horse-chestnut (A. hippocastanum). According to the Missouri Botanical Garden it was discovered in 1812. There's a story there.
The Red-Flowering Horsechestnut was introduced to California very early on. John Rock's Nursery in San Jose sold it in 1888. The California Nursery Company in Niles had it in the 1893 catalog..
Three baby chestnut seedlings this year. I am assured by an unknown (to me) expert on Facebook that the seedlings should look like the parent. Has one of them crossed with the California Buckeye (Aesculus californica) in the parking lot at the park? I will check if the bloom period is the same. Right now the buckeye has leaves again. I've seen flowers on other buckeyes (3/8/2016), but haven't noticed on ours. Will report back! If blooming periods do not overlap, then we can expect a red-flowering horsechestnut.
|May 8, 2015|
And it this tree is a celebrity. It was likely featured on the Great British Baking Show's intro. You can see the tree swishing by if you are quick!
- Listed as having moderate water requirements all year in WUCOLS. See it on Flickr
- Listed in 1893 (?) California Nursery Catalog
- Listed in 1893-1894 California Nursery Catalog, p. 20
- Listed in 1888 Rock's Nurseries Catalog, p. 6
- Listed in 1919 California Nursery Catalog, p. 44
- R.D. Fox co-owner of the California Nursery Company is listed in The Trees of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco as having sent Aesculus X carnea. I contacted Mona Burrell at GG Park and she said "We did indeed have an old [SFBG XY-1529] accession of Aesculus x carnea, in our records with established in Garden, source unknown. It is possible that it came from the California Nursery Company, around the time [“early 1900’s”], that RD Fox established the other trees in GG Park. Unfortunately our records indicate that the tree was in serious decline in our bed 8[our great lawn] and was removed in October of 1993"
- California buckeye is our native buckeye (Aesculus californica). Nuts inedible and poisonous without a lengthy processing.
- The Trees of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco
| "Pavia carnea, Flesh-Colored American Horse-chestnut", |
p. 301, The British Flower Garden,
by Robert Sweet, 1838