Indian Horse Chestnut

flower and leaves of Aesculus indica

Aesculus indica, the Indian Horse Chestnut photographed in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden with the new, small camera.

When I opened the file in Photoshop I was surprised at how beautifully the camera had captured the dappled light falling across the leaves. I mean all cameras are capable of capturing light (haha), but they vary in ‘the look’.

What that means is that I am developing a complex and in some ways very positive relationship with this little camera and the people at the lab of the manufacturer who designed the guts of it. It’s an emotional thing.

There’s more. It was only when I opened the file in Photoshop that I saw what the camera captured that I didn’t see as I was taking the photo.

Do you see the little horizontal, torpedo-shaped blob to the left of the flower? See the photo at the end of this article with a close-up of the little blob. First of all, though, something about the tree itself.

About The Indian Horse Chestnut

Aesculus indica – the Indian Horse Chestnut – is native to and common in the Himalayan lowlands between Kashmir and Western Nepal. It was introduced into Britain in the mid-19th century and it is grown as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens throughout Britain.

Its seeds contain saponin, and if the ground seeds are used for flour as they are in India, then the flour has to be rinsed out before baking to take away the bitterness. Saponins are surfactants, which means they are useful for clearing grease – as in washing up liquid.

The tree I photographed is covered in these pink flower inflorescences.

And the tree is, of course, a relative of a tree that is very common in Britain, Aesculus hippocastanum – the Horse Chestnut – which is native to the Caucasus, but has spread all over Europe, the British Isles, and the Americas.

Its inflorescences are white, and Cambridge is blessed with many of them including a whole long avenue of them bordering Midsummer Common that I have written about before.

And now here is the close-up I mentioned, of the little blob on its way to the flowers.


3 Comments

  1. What an unusual flower. While I have seen this a variety of tree, never such a showy bloom. Enjoyed both beautiful images and this post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tamara says:

    Lovely flower, gorgeous light, sweetie insect, informative text — and I’m very happy for you that you’re developing an emotional link with your new camera: Enjoy!

    Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.