|Although quite similar at first glance, Aesculus indica is usually a slightly smaller tree than the common horse chestnut (A. hippocastanum), and differs in having smooth, flaky, grey-green (rather than red-brown) bark. It also flowers later, its pinkish-white flowers appearing in strikingly beautiful spikes in July, making it a really handsome tree for a medium to large garden (it can grow to 20–30 m tall, so is not suitable for a small space). The tree is also very attractive as the first shoots appearing are orange/red in tone. The later foliage is less prone to the leaf disease which affects the common species.
Aesculus indica is native to the lower slopes of the north-west Himalaya, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to western Nepal. In the Himalaya it is one of the dominant trees of deciduous forests, growing alongside oaks, maples, birches and laurels. It was introduced to Britain in 1851 by Colonel Henry Bunbury (a friend of Sir Joseph Hooker, Director of Kew from 1865-1885)