Horse chestnut family

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Horse chestnut family
Common horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

Common horse chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum )

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Eurosiden II
Order : Sapindales (Sapindales)
Family : Soap tree family (Sapindaceae)
Subfamily : Horse chestnut family
Scientific name
Sycamore maple ( Acer pseudoplatanus ), winged seeds
Dipteronia sinensis

The hippocastanoideae (Hippocastanoideae) are a sub-family in the plant family of soap tree plants (Sapindaceae). It contains four genera with around 130 species. They are woody plants with a distribution focus in the northern temperate areas.


The representatives of the horse chestnut family are woody plants: they grow as trees or bushes . The against-constantly arranged on the branches of deciduous leaves are simple or compound.

The flowers are four or five-fold. Most three (two to six) carpels have become an ovary grown. There are cap fruits with few seeds or Samaras formed (see picture of sycamore maple).


The genera of the subfamily horse chestnut plants were previously placed in their own families maple plants (Aceraceae) and horse chestnut plants (Hippocastanaceae). The classification into the soap tree family (Sapindaceae) and the delimitation of the subfamilies is controversial. Handel iodendron forms a monophyletic group together with Aesculus and Billia .

The four subfamilies of the soap tree family (Sapindaceae) are differentiated according to the structure of the ovary ; the Sapindoideae have only one ovule , while the Hippocastanoideae have two ovules per ovary compartment (corresponds to one carpel).

The subfamily of the Hippocastanoideae contains four genera with about 130 species . By far the most species-rich genus are the maples ( Acer ) with around 110 species. Here is the list of genres (according to GRIN):

  • Maples ( Acer L. ): The approximately 110 species, depending on the author up to 200 species, are widespread in the northern hemisphere .
  • Horse chestnuts ( Aesculus L. ): Most of the twelve species are found in North America, some species are common in Asia and only one species is native to southeast Europe.
  • Billia Peyr. : The only two species are distributed from southern Mexico to Ecuador.
  • Dipteronia ( Dipteronia Oliv. ): The only two species are native to China .
  • Handeliodendron Rehder : It contains only one species:


Individual evidence

  1. Entry on Aceraceae in the Flora of China
  2. Entry on Hippocastanaceae in the Flora of China
  3. Hippocastanoideae in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved August 26, 2013.

Web links

Commons : Horse Chestnut Family (Hippocastanoideae)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files