Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Tree of the Month - June 2016

Posted: May 31, 2016 at 17:55 pm Author: Dan Crowley

What is tree of the month?

Aesculus indica (Indian horse chestnut)

Indian horse chestnut

Why is it tree of the month?

The Indian horse chestnut is notable for both its bronze new foliage (see the whole tree photo!) and flowers in panicles that provide an arboreal highlight as we move in to the summer months. The leaves turn a glossy green and the showy flowers usually appear in June to July and look as though they won’t too far away this year! In maturity the bark peels in long strips.

The species is native of the north west Himalaya and was introduced in 1851. It is seen far less frequently in the UK than its European relative, Aesculus hippocastanum, and its later flowering time than this species is an added attraction.

Indian horse chestnut

Where can I find it?

Our largest example can be found on Loop Walk in the Old Arboretum and an equally interesting example of multi-stemmed habit is found close to the relatively new path which links Mitchell Drive and Main Drive in the Old Arboretum.