This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Characters of the family. [Ancient name.l Type species: Ae. Hippocastanum L.
Capsules spiny, at least when young; stamens exserted.
Flowers yellow or greenish-yellow; native.
A tree; leaflets 5-7, pubescent.
A shrub; leaflets 7-9, glabrate.
Capsule glabrous; stamens scarcely exceeding the petals.
Corolla red: calyx tubular; shrubs or small trees.
Aesculus Hippocastanum L. Sp. Pl. 344. 1753.
A large tree, reaching a maximum height of about 100° and a trunk diameter of 6°, the buds very resinous. Leaves long-petioled, pubescent when young, glabrate when mature, or with persistent tufts of hairs in the axils of the veins on the lower surface; leaflets 5-7 (occasionally only 3 on some leaves), obovate, 4'-8' long, abruptly acuminate at the apex, cuneate-narrowed to the base, irreguarly crenulate-dentate; petals 5, spreading, white, blotched with red and yellow, inflorescence rather dense, often 1° long, the pedicels and calyx canescent; stamens declined, exserted; fruit globose, prickly.
Escaped from cultivation, New England, New York and New Jersey. Native of Asia. Called also Bongay, and the fruit, in children's games, Conquerors. Lambs. June-July.
Aesculus glabra Willd. Enum. 405. 1809.
A tree, with maximum height of about 750 and trunk diameter of 2°, the bark rough and fetid. Leaves long-petioled; leaflets 5, rarely 7, 3-6' long, oval, oblong or lanceolate, acuminate, narrowed at the base, glabrous or slightly pubescent on the veins beneath, finely and sharply serrate, short-stalked or at first sessile; inflorescence loose, pubescent, 4'-6' long; flowers pale yellow; calyx campanulate; petals 4, parallel. 5"-7" long, slightly unequal, their claws about equalling the calyx-lobes; stamens curved, ex-serted; fruit 1'-1 1/2' in diameter, very prickly when young, becoming smoothish at maturity.
Woods, Pennsylvania to Alabama, west to Michigan, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Wood soft, white, the sap-wood slightly darker; weight per cubic foot 28 lbs. Timber used for artificial limbs and a variety of wooden-ware articles. American horse-chestnut. April-May.