Fort McNair Red Horse Chestnut

Botanical Name: Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair’

The Fort McNair Red Horse Chestnut is a beautiful accent tree, ideal for use in smaller landscapes. This selection originates in Fort McNair in Washington D.C. It is a small, deciduous tree, which develops a rounded, dense crown as it matures. This hybrid has good branching structure and consistent growth. The Fort McNair Red Horse Chestnut, also known as Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair,’ grows to a height of 35 feet tall and a width of 25 feet. 

As is typical of buckeyes, the Fort McNair Red Horse Chestnut has densely growing, coarse foliage. The leaves are made up of 5-7 leaflets in a palmately compound arrangement. They emerge light chartreuse green in the spring and then deepen into a darker, rich green in the summer. In autumn, the leaves turn a vibrant golden yellow for an attractive fall display. 

Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair’ produces deep pink or red flowers with light pink and yellow centers. This horse chestnut blooms in late spring, providing an eye-catching display. The flowers are typical of other Aesculus species – they are borne on upright panicles that are 6-8 inches long. The flower spikes grow at the end of the branches, rising like candles above the foliage. Hummingbirds love this selection of horse chestnut. Typically, these birds are attracted to red-colored flowers above all other colors.

Category:

Height: 35 ft.

Width: 25 ft.

Shape: Oval

Flower Color: Dark pink, Red

Flowering Time: April-May

Fall Color: N/A

Features: Beautiful spring flowers, bright fall color, disease resistant

Exposure: Full Sun

Watering: Moderate & Regular, Drought tolerant once established

Soil: Prefers moist, well-drained soil

Growth Rate: Slow

USDA Zones: 5-9

Uses: Accent tree, habitat garden, specimen tree, lawn tree, small landscapes, wildlife garden

Similar trees: Aesculus glabra, Aesculus glabra 'J.N. Select,' Aesculus x bushii 'Aaron #1'