Aesculus × carnea 'Marginata'
Common Name: red horse chestnut 
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 30.00 to 40.00 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, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Fruit: Showy


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. Although this is a hybrid form, new plants will generally come true from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aesculus × carnea, commonly called red horse chestnut, is the result of a cross between A. hippocastanum and 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.

Genus name is the Latin name for a kind of oak bearing edible acorns but applied by Linnaeus to this genus.

Specific epithet means flesh-colored or deep pink.

'Marginata' is a cultivar that features green leaves variegated with irregular yellow margins.


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.


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.