Aesculus (Sturtevant, 1919)

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Sturtevant, Edible plants of the world, 1919
Aesculus (Sturtevant, 1919)

Aesculus californica Nutt.


A low-spreading tree of the Pacific Coast of the United States. The chestnuts are made into a gruel or soup by the western Indians. The Indians of California pulverize the nut, extract the bitterness by washing with water and form the residue into a cake to be used as food.

Aesculus hippocastanum Linn.


Turkey. The common horse-chestnut is cultivated for ornament but never for the purpose of a food supply. It is now known to be a native of Greece or the Balkan Mountains. Pickering says it was made known in 1557; Brandis, that it was cultivated in Vienna in 1576; and Emerson, that it was introduced into the gardens of France in 1615 from Constantinople. John Robinson says that it was known in England about 1580. It was introduced to northeast America, says Pickering, by European colonists. The seeds are bitter and in their ordinary condition inedible but have been used, says Balfour, as a substitute for coffee.

Aesculus indica Coleb.

Himalayas. A lofty tree of the Himalaya Mountains called kunour or pangla. In times of scarcity, the seeds are used as food, ground and mixed with flour after steeping in water.

Aesculus parviflora Walt.


Southern states of America. The fruit, according to Browne, may be eaten boiled or roasted as a chestnut.