The Horse Chestnut (Aesculus Hyppocastanus), is an ornamental tree with a high trunk, particularly present on the sides of avenues and in gardens.
Etymologically its name derives from the Greek and means: chestnut (castanus) for horses (hyppo), as the fruits of the tree represent a stimulating and very welcome food for these animals.
In addition to performing ornamental functions due to its considerable size, the Horse Chestnut also has various officinal properties for the treatment of various ailments.
Morphology of horse chestnut
It is a majestic tree, which can reach 25-30 meters in height (some specimens exceptionally go up to 50 meters); it has an expanded, compact, pyramid-shaped crown, which opens up to 10 meters wide and makes it particularly suitable for providing shading.
It has a smooth and brown brown bark.
The branches are lenticellated, of medium length, covered with reddish buds wrapped in a sticky substance.
The leaves are deciduous, with webbed appearance, with opposite insertion; they have considerable dimensions (they can exceed 20-25 centimeters in length) and are made up of 5-7 sheets with narrow base and pointed apex, crossed by evident ribs; they have a bright green upper page and a light green lower page.
The hermaphrodite flowers have a calyx with 5 sepals and a corolla with 5 petals, white with pink and red spots, gathered in panicle inflorescences of considerable size (up to 20 centimeters).
The fruits are large capsules, greenish, round, covered with short spines and formed by three valves that enclose the seed: the "mad chestnut". They are not edible to humans and are toxic if accidentally ingested.