Tree in Hamilton New Zealand

tree

I saw this in a suburban garden in Hamilton. The leaves look awfully familiar – maybe from the botanic garden in Sydney, but that wasn’t flowering at the time. I think it might be a Horse Chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum – but I wasn’t sure at the time.

Edit: Having done some research I discovered that they do actually grow in New Zealand. Obviously this is not a native plant. It originates from south-east Europe. The flowers are usually white with a small red spot; they are produced in spring in erect panicles 10–30 cm tall with about 20–50 flowers on each panicle.

This one however, appears to be much pinker so is probably Aesculus x carnea ‘Ft. McNair‘ – a Red Horse Chestnut which is a hybrid between A. pavia (red buckeye) and A. hippocastanum (horse-chestnut). There are a couple of cultivars currently available that offer very showy flowers. ‘Ft. McNair’ has bright pink flowers, each with a yellow blotch. The flowers are not tubular like those of the red buckeye, but are quite open and showy like those of its common horse chestnut parent

It is not known where it originated, but it probably first appeared in Germany before 1820. A medium-size tree to 20-25 m tall, similar to the parent species in most respects, but inheriting the red flower colour from A. pavia.

It is widely cultivated in streets and parks throughout the temperate world, and has been particularly successful in places like the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where they are commonly found in parks, streets and avenues.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. suej says:

    Looks pretty in that top image – but I haven’t a clue what it is, sorry…..

  2. Not familiar at all to this Virginian.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I need the help of a Kiwi!!

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    No idea bit very pretty. 🙂

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I hope someone solves the mystery!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hopefully pommepal will come along and ID it (once she wakes up that is), or one of the Aussies 😉

  5. pommepal says:

    Here I am Jude 8am on a sunny saturday. It is beautiful, but sorry I have no idea what it is… 😦

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh PP, I was relying on you! Maybe it is a large shrub?

      1. pommepal says:

        Mmmm, looks like a tree. Every thing is flowering so well this season due to the rain we have been having, the garden is going ballistic, 95mm of rain last night

        1. Heyjude says:

          I hope you don’t have floods.

        2. pommepal says:

          Northern Goldcoast had flash floods yesterday, so far we are ok.

  6. Me neither. Have enough trouble ID ing stuff on the doorstep. But I like looking at it!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Guess I’m going to do a lot of Googling this week!

  7. Judy says:

    I have no idea what this is but it is screaming to be post processed with some texture 🙂 Love the subtle pink against the dark green leaves.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The header has a silk effect processing added, but I confess that the tree (or could it be a large shrub maybe?) hasn’t been touched. You’re right. I need to play with it to add some depth.

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