Aesculus × carnea
red horse chestnut

Sapindaceae (soapberry family)
North American
Aesculus × carnea inflorescence. John Rawlings

A cross between the common horse chestnut and the red buckeye (A. pavia), this tree is very striking when in bloom. The five-stemmed leaflets have rounded sawteeth. See an example in the southeast courtyard of Wilbur Hall and four at 817 Pine Hill Road. Two beautiful specimens inside the Frost Amphitheater fence on the north are distinguished by the presence of both pink and yellow flowers on the same spike. Many have been planted on the west side of the Shopping Center. In March 2006, two ‘Briotii’ – a cultivar originating in 1858 with bright scarlet flowers – were planted at Braun Music courtyard (facing the Post Office), Braun Music south side, and the Roble Gym south entry.

Aesculus × carnea leaf and fruit. From An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees, Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino

Name derivation: Aesculus – the Latin name for a kind of oak bearing edible acorns but applied by Linnaeus to this genus; carnea – flesh-colored. From California Plant Names.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. (Erratum: the book’s leaf silhouette is mislabeled: leaflets of A. × carnea are sessile.) John Rawlings added the ‘Briotii’ locations ca. 2006. Family updated from Hippocastanaceae to Sapindaceae (Oct 2017, SP).