Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Red-Flowering Horsechestnut at the park

Red-flowering horsechestnut
Aesculus × carnea
April 2015
A very lovely tree. But what is it?

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!

 "Pavia carnea, Flesh-Colored American Horse-chestnut",  
p. 301, The British Flower Garden,
by Robert Sweet, 1838

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