.E'SCULUS, a genus of plants belonging to the natural order Ilippoeastanem It consists of trees found m the temperate parts of America and Asia, remarkable for the beauty of their flowers and leaves, and for their forming in some sort a type of tropical vegetation in northern latitudes. It must not be confounded with the rEaculua of the Romans, which was a kind of oak. [Qeences.] The best known species is the Common Horse-Chestnut (.Eseulus Ilippocas. taaum), a very handsome timber-tree, formerly lima used for avenues, and still extensively planted wherever round masses of wood, or gay flowering trees, are required. Its bark and its nuts are also among the more useful products that the hardy trees of this climate afford. It is very singular that the native country of this species should be unknown. One writer says it inhabits the northern parts of Asia ; another, that it is found in the cold provinces of India ; and a third assigns it to the mountain-chains of Asia 31inor ; while all the positive information that books really afford is, that it was brought to Vienna from Constantinople in the beginning of the 16th century, and was thence dispersed through all Europe. The popular name of Horse-Chestnut has arisen from the custom among the Turks of grinding the nuts and mixing them with the provender given to horses that are broken-winded. Starch is also yielded in very considerable quantity by the nuts; and, deprived of its bitterness by maceration in weak ley, has been recommended as excellent nutritious food for horses, goats, oxen, and sheep. The general characters of
the Horse-Chketuut are too well known to require description. As a forest-tree, it ie well adapted to light lands, upon which it will thrive, although they may be very sterile ; in tenacious clay, it is always stunted and unhealthy, as in the Regent's Park ; in rich alluvial soil, it acquires ita greatest beauty. The timber Is soft and spongy, and common kind in having larger and much more undulated !envoi. It has been cultivated for some years in this country, but has never flowered.
Besides these, a third species, ,F.scides earnea—or, as it is sometimes called, ,Eseulas rabieanda, or rosea—is occasionally met with iu gardens. Its origin is unknown. For all purposes of ornament, this is much superior to the common kind.
The Buck's-F.ye Chestnuts of North America belong to the genus Pam. [l'AVIA.] The first two species of Horse-Chestnut ore propagated by sowing their seeds either in the autumn at much a depth below the surface as to be secure from the attacks of mice, or else in the spring; but in the latter case they must be preserved during the winter in heaps of sand. The seeds should not be placed hem than six inches apart in the beds, because the leaves are so large M to require more than usual space to expose themselves to light. The hest species, and the varieties of the first, not yielding seeds, are multiplied by budding upon the common Horse-Chestnut.