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Uses

Toxic parts

The seed is rich in saponins[1]. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].

Edible uses

Notes

We have no details for this species, but the following notes almost certainly apply to it. Seed - cooked. It can be dried, ground into a flour and used as a gruel. The seed is quite large, about 20mm in diameter, and is also easily harvested. Unfortunately, it is rich in saponins and these toxins need to be removed before the seed can be eaten. See also the notes above on toxicity. The following notes apply to A. californica, but are probably also relevant here:- The seed needs to be leached of toxins before it becomes safe to eat - the Indians would do this by slow-roasting the nuts (which would have rendered the saponins harmless) and then cutting them into thin slices, putting them into a cloth bag and rinsing them in a stream for 2 - 5 days[2]. Most of the minerals etc would also have been leached out by this treatment[K].

Seed

Material uses

Saponins in the seed are a soap substitute[1]. The saponins can be easily obtained by chopping the seed into small pieces and infusing them in hot water. This water can then be used for washing the body, clothes etc. Its main drawback is a lingering odour of horse chestnuts[K].

Seed

Chopped, Infused as a Soap

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Excessive fear' and 'Anxiety for others'[3].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[4][5]. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather[6]. The seed has a very limited viability and must not be allowed to dry out. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing and even after this may still not be viable[5][7]. It is best to sow the seed with its 'scar' downwards[6]. If sowing the seed in a cold frame, pot up the seedlings in early spring and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. This species is a garden hybrid though it breeds relatively true from seed[8].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Aesculus x carnea. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a deep loamy well-drained soil but is not too fussy[9][4]. The dormant tree tolerates temperatures down to at least -15°c[8], though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. It prefers a continental climate, growing best in eastern and south-eastern England[8]. There are some named forms selected for their ornamental value[4][8]. Most members of this genus transplant easily, even when fairly large[4]. Abnormal cell development in this species may result in eruptions on trunks over 30cm in diameter - these ultimately decay[8]. Although a hybrid species, it breeds true from seed due to a doubling of the chromosomes[4][10].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Aesculus x carnea. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Aesculus x carnea.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Aesculus x carnea
Genus
Aesculus
Family
Hippocastanaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    25 x
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    2. ? 2.02.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (32202/01/01)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Chancellor. P. M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies C. W. Daniel Co. Ltd. ISBN 85207 002 0 (32202/01/01)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.5 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (32202/01/01)
    5. ? 5.05.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (32202/01/01)
    6. ? 6.06.1 ? The Plantsman. Vol. 4. 1982 - 1983. Royal Horticultural Society (32202/01/01)
    7. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (32202/01/01)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
    9. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
    10. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (32202/01/01)