A small family, widely distributed; trees or shrubs, with opposite, compound leaves, no stipules and terminal clusters of irregular flowers, some perfect and some with only pistils or only stamens; the calyx tubular or bell-shaped, with five, unequal lobes or teeth; the petals four or five, unequal, with claws; the stamens five to eight, with long filaments; the ovary superior, with no stalk, three-celled, with a slender style; the capsule leathery, roundish or slightly three-lobed, smooth or spiny, with one to three, large, polished seeds.

There are a good many kinds of Aesculus, or Horse Chestnut, natives of America and Asia; the leaves pal-mately compound, with toothed leaflets; the flowers of two sorts, the fertile ones few in number, near the top of the cluster, with long, thick styles, and the sterile flowers with short styles.