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Aesculus turbinata - Blume.

Common Name Japanese Horse Chestnut
Family Hippocastanaceae
USDA hardiness 5-7
Known Hazards The seed is rich in saponins[169]. 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].
Habitats Mountains, especially in ravines, all over Japan[58]. In deciduous forests, especially in moist slopes along streams[275].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Aesculus turbinata Japanese Horse Chestnut


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI
Aesculus turbinata Japanese Horse Chestnut
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI

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Summary

Bloom Color: Red, White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal, Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Aesculus turbinata is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Ae dissimilis.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves cooked[177]. Some caution is advised on this entry since the leaves are likely to contain toxic saponins (see notes above on toxicity). Seed - cooked. It can be dried, ground into a flour and used as a gruel. The starch is extracted and eaten[177]. The seed is quite large, about 25 - 30mm in diameter, and is easily harvested. Unfortunately it is also rich in saponins and these 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[213]. Most of the minerals etc would also have been leached out by this treatment[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Soap;  Wood.

Saponins in the seed are a soap substitute[169]. 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]. Wood - weak, nicely grained. Used for house fittings, domestic items etc[11].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Specimen. Prefers a deep loamy well-drained soil but is not too fussy[1, 11]. The dormant plant is very cold-hardy, though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. It prefers growing in a continental climate, doing best in eastern and south-eastern England[200]. Most members of this genus transplant easily, even when fairly large[11]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation

Seed - best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[11, 80]. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather[130]. 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[80, 113]. It is best to sow the seed with its 'scar' downwards[130]. 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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Aesculus californicaCalifornian Buckeye, California Horsechestnut31
Aesculus chinensisChinese Horse Chestnut31
Aesculus flavaSweet Buckeye, Yellow buckeye40
Aesculus glabraOhio Buckeye, Fetid Buckeye21
Aesculus hippocastanumHorse Chestnut, European Horsechestnut, Common Horsechestnut34
Aesculus indicaIndian Horse Chestnut31
Aesculus parvifloraBottlebrush buckeye21
Aesculus paviaRed Buckeye21
Aesculus x carneaRed Horse Chestnut, Ruby Red Horsechestnut21

 

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Expert comment

Author

Blume.

Botanical References

58275

Links / References

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Subject : Aesculus turbinata  
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