Aesculus × carnea 'Briotii'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 5 Professionals
Common Name: red horse chestnut
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 25.00 to 35.00 feet
Spread: 25.00 to 35.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Shade Tree
Flower: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile soils. Foliage tends to scorch and generally depreciate in dry conditions. Once established, it can be difficult to transplant because of its taproot. Plants produce viable seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Red horse chestnut is a hybrid (A. hippocastanum x A. pavia) that was discovered in Europe in 1812. It is a small, oval to rounded, deciduous tree that grows 30-40’ tall, and is perhaps best noted for its attractive red flowers. It features dark green palmate compound leaves with 5 (less frequently 7) spreading ovate-oblong leaflets (6-10” long). Leaflets have doubly-toothed margins. Fall color is somewhat undistinguished. Very showy red flowers appear in upright terminal panicles (to 6-8” long) in mid-spring (May in St. Louis). Flowers are followed by slightly prickly husky capsules (1.5” diameter), each typically containing two or three nuts. Nuts are poisonous.

‘Briotii’ is a cultivar that was named in 1858 to honor Pierre Louis Briot, the nurseryman at Trianon-Versailles near Paris, France. In comparison to Aesculus x carnea, this cultivar is perhaps best noted for its darker red flowers and larger flower panicles. Dark red flowers appear in upright terminal panicles (to 8-10” long) in mid-spring (May in St. Louis). Flowers are followed by slightly prickly husky capsules (1.5” diameter), each typically containing two or three nuts.

Problems

Leaf blotch can be a significant problem. Powdery mildew and leaf spots may also occur. Bagworms, Japanese beetles and borers are infrequent but potentially troublesome. Leaf scorch (brown edges) may occur in droughty conditions or on sites exposed to wind. In general, this tree has better disease resistance and its foliage is less apt to depreciate as the growing season progresses than is the case with A. hippocastanum.

Garden Uses

A beautiful landscape tree for parks and large lawns. Depreciation of the foliage during the growing season due to disease, insect and scorching problems somewhat limits its value. Often not recommended as a street tree because of litter problems (nuts, twigs, leaves). It may be planted as a shade tree.