Difference Between Buckeye and Chestnut (With Table)

Buckeye and chestnut may appear similar to many although they both belong to a different family of trees. Buckeyes are majorly found in the United States, and Chestnuts are not easily found in the United States. Buckeye and Chestnut trees have similar appearances- bears large leaves, the color of the flowers are white and yellow, and grows in clusters. The fruits grow wrapped in a green pod.

Buckeye vs Chestnut

The difference between Buckeye and Chestnut is that Buckeyes are poisonous and are not recommended for consumption, but most of the chestnuts (Except the horse chestnuts) are safe to be consumed. The fruits of buckeye grows in late summer and in the case of Chestnuts, the fruits grow in the spring season.

The Buckeye, also known as Ohio Buckeye is a native fruit of the United States, found in the Appalachian mountains in the regions of Mississippi. The Buckeye trees have yellow or white flowers, that grow in clusters, and the trees of the Buckeye grown tall at a height of about 20m on an average.

Chestnuts can be found in a lot of varieties. Horse chestnuts, American chestnuts, and the original chestnuts. The chestnuts trees can be very big, has the ability to grow for about 50 to 60meters. They are not easily found in the United States but are found in Greece( Horse Chestnuts) and America ( American Chestnut).

Comparison Table Between Buckeye And Chestnut

Parameters of ComparisonBuckeyeChestnut
Scientific NameThe scientific name of Buckeye is Aesculus, and the very commonly found Ohio Buckeye is known as Aesculus glabra.The scientific name of Chestnut is Castanea.
OriginBuckeye comes from the soapberry familyChestnuts come from the family Fagaceae.
UsageBuckeyes provide softwood as timber for usage. Other than that, they do not have many usages.Chestnuts are used as food, as cattle food. Chestnuts render very durable wood and the tannin from it is used for making leather.
ToxinsBuckeyes are mostly poisonous to humans and cattle.The majority of chestnuts are not poisonous but may taste bitter when consumed.
Leaf AnatomyThe leaves of Buckeye have 5 petals and the fruits grow in a single green pod.The leaves of Chestnuts have 6 petals and the fruits grow in a double pod.

What is Buckeye?

The Ohio Buckeye is a fruit that is brown and has a shiny outer coating. The buckeyes grow in green spiky pods, and usually, only one fruit grows in the green spiky pod. Buckeye trees are about 12m to 20m tall in general, the tree leaves turn yellow in the fall season and thus the tree becomes easy to spot. The buckeye trees have 5 petaled leaf, and the fruits ripe by the end of the summers.
Buckeyes are not edible. They can be harmful if consumed. The toxic substance present in the seed is called tannic acid. Almost the whole tree is poisonous. But still, the buckeye fruit which is brown and shiny in appearance can be removed from its shells and roasted if needed to be consumed.
Buckeyes grown in an environment where they get have forested lands, streambanks, or fields. They are found in areas rich in calcium carbonate, which is rich in lime and are chalky.
In primitive days, the buckeye seeds were crushed and used for fishing by putting the crushed buckeyes in the waters, so that the fishes can die and can be eaten. But before the fishes were eaten, they were boiled and cleaned thoroughly multiple times to remove the toxins.

What is Chestnut?

Chestnuts are of many varieties. They all belong to the family of Fagaceae. Horse Chestnuts, American chestnut, Japanese Chestnut, and Chinese chestnuts. Most of these are edible, only horse chestnuts are poisonous and not recommended for consumption. Chestnut oak which is a type of Oak is often confused with the chestnut trees. Both are different genres of plants.

The European and American chestnuts grow the tallest and at the most speed. Chestnut trees have longer leaves and the fruit comes wrapped in a double green pod. The length of the leaves varies from 10 to 50 cm for these trees. The leaves may be present with six to seven petals.
Chestnuts develop flowers in the spring season, and they reproduce by pollination. The pollens are carried by natural elements or by animals. Chestnuts require a moderately humid climate to grow. The fruit has two coatings, the outer coating is shiny and known as husk, and the inner coating is known as episperm. Chestnut fruits have two cotyledons. Chestnuts are called Conker trees in the United Kingdom as they have a resemblance to the conker game. This is so because the game is played with the seeds of horse chestnuts.

Main Differences Between Buckeye And Chestnut

  1. Buckeyes come from the family of soapberry , whereas Chestnuts come from the family of Fagaceae .
  2. Buckeye is toxic for consumption, but chestnuts(Except horse chestnuts) are edible.
  3. The scientific name of Buckeye is Aesculus and the scientific name of Chestnut is Castanea.
  4. There is only one variety of Buckeye, which is the Ohio Buckeye. There are about 4 major varieties of chestnuts – European Chestnut, American Chestnut, Chinese Chestnut, and Horse Chestnuts.
  5. The leaves of Buckeye have 5 petals and the fruits grow in a single green pod and as for chestnuts, the leaves of Chestnuts have 6 petals and the fruits grow in a double pod.


Buckeye and Chestnuts may be similar appearances, but by nature, they are far apart. They are both deciduous trees. The seeds of both the trees look so much alike, that it is hardly noticeable. Buckeyes have little to no use, except for its softwood and being a plantation tree used in landscaping, but chestnuts have a handful of usage. Ohio Buckeye and Horse Chestnuts both are of the same family and thus, both of them contain toxins and cannot be consumed. Both are from the soapberry family, named Sapindaceae. Buckeye and Chestnuts, both the trees are abundantly found in the northern hemisphere.


  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11738-017-2404-y.pdf
  2. https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(15)46274-9/fulltext
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