The horse chestnut to survive a warm climate, Aesculus californica features ghostly-white branches through winter, spectacular flowers in spring, and bark that turns white when the leaves drop, exposing huge brown conker-like seed pods. In late spring, the sweetly scented creamy white to pale pink flowers appear in profusion on erect panicles up to 30cm long, giving the tree a giant candelabra-like appearance. Despite concerns about killing pollinators, after 25 years’ experience at the Waite Institute, this fear is unfounded in Australia. Drought-tolerant.
The horse chestnut to survive a warm climate, adapted to dry conditions by dropping its leaves to conserve moisture. Irrigate in summer if exceedingly dry to maintain leaf coverage.