Aesculus indica 'SYDNEY PEARCE'

Aesculus indica
Aesculus indica 'SYDNEY PEARCE'
Indian horse chestnut, Himalayan horse chestnut
SIZE/TYPE tall tree
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF FLOWERS combined:white and deep pink
LOCATION full sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist but well-drained
USDA zone (lowest) 5b   (down to -27°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
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Do you have a large space in your garden (or a park or arboretum) and are you looking for a beautiful tree that will fill that space with both plenty of mass and dignity? Indian or Himalayan horse chestnut is unarguably one of the best choices ever because it has everything - beautiful flowers, exotic leaves, plenty of mass, and an extremely elegant habit. It comes from the Himalayan lowlands between Kashmir and western Nepal and performs well even in Central European conditions.

Sydney Pearce is an English variety of Indian horse chestnut, selected by the man of the same name in 1935, when he was working as an assistant curator of the Royal Gardens at Kew near London, England. It boasts unique, gaura-like flowers with conspicuous, deep pink blotch on a white background. Even more interesting is the fact that some flowers do not have a pink blotch but a yellow one. I bet that someone somewhere must have counted the ratio between yellow-blotched and pink-blotched flowers, surely it was not me – sorry, folks. They are arranged in upright, elegantly narrow panicles 25-35 cm tall and begin blooming in June for 2-3 weeks. I dare to say that a blossoming tree is as beautiful as magnolia trees in full bloom in spring.

In late summer ripen pear-shaped, smooth capsules hiding round chestnuts with glossy, dark brown peel, the kernels of which were used in India to make cheap, bitter flour. It was mixed with wheat flour when making chapati flatbreads or sweet halwa.

Leaves are deciduous, palmately divided into 7 broadly lanceolate, up to 30 cm long leaves with purple pink stalks. They are bright green, partially glossy and usually have smooth margins, but you can find clones with slightly serrated margins. They turn orange in autumn. The compound leaves are slightly drooping which may give the impression that the tree needs more watering, but this is simply how it naturally looks.

Indian horse chestnut grows quickly and Sydney Pearce variety is even more vigorous and dense, so it soon develops its typical, broadly oval to dome-shaped, very picturesque habit with a canopy whose side branches arch to such an extent that you can eventually see only about half the trunk. If you want to walk or drive under the tree, cut these branches off. Do any pruning in late winter before the tree wakes up. It grows large and in maturity its width will be greater than its height.

Despite its exotic origin, Indian horse chestnut prefers a cooler climate, and it copes well in Central Europe. It likes humidity more than dry heat which it can handle only in constantly moist ground. It is not demanding as to soil quality. Grow it in evenly moist but well-drained soil in full sun. The hardiness of this variety is even better than of the species, reaching around -25 °C without any winter protection, perhaps a bit more - not yet tested.

Last update 19-06-2023
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Aesculus indica height of stem 160-180 cm, girth 16-18 cm

THE PRICES INCLUDE VAT of 15%. For quick conversion you can use 1 CZK = approx. 0.04 EUR


  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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