Buckeye Horse Chestnut

Buckeye Horse Chestnut

Buckeye chestnut trees are also known as horse chestnut trees. They are popular landscaping trees some states in the United States especially in Ohio State where this tree is the state tree. This tree is often confused with chestnut trees by many people due to similar appearance. The main difference between these two species is that the chestnuts are usually planted for their delicious nuts while buckeye trees are mostly cultivated for landscaping purposes due to the slight toxicity of their nuts. So, if you have some buckeye trees planted in your garden, you should pay attention to your young kids to prevent them from eating any nuts for this tree.

Originated from the United States, buckeye horse trees are known for its beautiful compound leaves which comprise several radiating leaflets from the centre. They can grow up to 50 feet in height but the growing speed is slow. Their beautiful clusters of yellow blossoms can provide great views for your summer garden. The nuts are grown in the spiky husks which make them easy to be differentiated from other nuts. The husks will drop to ground in autumn.

The name of their nuts, horse nuts, comes from the appearance of the nuts which resemble animals’ eyes. These nuts contain some toxic substances called Aesculin which cause disorders on small children and animals. The symptoms of the infection include vomiting, depression and diarrhea. Nearly all parts of the tree contain toxin, so you should avoid planting these trees in your backyard if you have small children or pets. The horse nuts cannot be edible unless the toxin is totally removed. Sometimes these nuts can be used as a herbal medicine for arthritis.

Image provided By Brant Jones at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

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