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Horse Chestnut
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

A deciduous tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

The seed is quite large, about 3cm in diameter, and is easily harvested. It is usually produced in abundance in Britain. Unfortunately the seed is also rich in saponins, these must be removed before it can be used as a food. Byut are an excellent source of food for wildlife.

Prefers a deep loamy well-drained soil but is not too fussy tolerating poorer drier soils. Tolerates exposed positions and atmospheric pollution. A very ornamental and fast-growing tree, it succeeds in most areas of Britain but grows best in eastern and south-eastern England. Trees are very hardy when dormant, but the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The flowers have a delicate honey-like perfume. The red flowered horse chestnuts (Aesculus x carnea) have a 2 or 3 cultivars,

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