ian Plants for Bees , ,

Horse-chestnut : Aesculus hippocastanum

Plant :  The horse-chestnut tree is a very large deciduous tree, which produces “conkers” in the autumn.  It can grow to over 30m and they are often planted as ornamental trees in parks and large gardens.  Each tree produces a large display of white flowers in the summer, which can be a great source of pollen for honey bees.  It belongs to the Sapindaceae family.

Flower : The flowers grow on upright, conical panicles, 20cm high.  Flowers are 2cm across and are mainly white.  The flowers are mainly male, producing only pollen, some are female and produce fruit, while a few produce both pollen and fruit.  The flower has 5 sepals, 4 petals and 5-8 stamens.

Pollen : The pollen load of horse-chestnut is a dark red colour.  The grain is round and 32um in size.  It has three pores, which are furrow and pore type.  The surface is smooth and the exine is thin.

Click here to return to plants for bees index.