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Nº 25. Friday, December 3, 2010

Hippocastanaceae

n Bot. Family of dicotyledonous trees and shrubs with compound, palmate leaves, flowers in cymose panicle or raceme and thick-seeded capsular fruits, like horse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum.

Type genus: Aesculus (formerly Hippocastanum).

Etymology

From modern Latin Hippocastanaceae; from Hippocastanum, old name for a plant genus now called Aesculus; from Greek hippo, «horse», and Latin castanea, «chestnut», because in old times the fruit of one of its most representative species was used to feed horses and other domestic animals; and the Latin suffix -aceae, «-aceous».