- Best known for the production of ‘conkers’. The spiky seed shell contains a shiny nut. The nut is threaded on to a string and the opponents conker is flicked until one breaks leaving a winner. Some conkers are treated with vinegar of other tricks to harden them for competition.
- Due to chemical saponin in the nut they have historically been used for washing clothes.
- Spiders and other creatures are frightened off by the saponins
- The flowers are quite striking and form attractive pyramid shapes, referred to as ‘candles’, up in the branches.
- Trees can be over 100 feet tall and long lived up to 250 years.
- The palmate leaves can be disfigured by leaf miner moths.
- They provide heavy shade and little will grow directly beneath them.
- Germination and initial growth can be quite rapid.
- Aesculus hippocastanum or Horse-Chestnut flowers are white but there is a red hybrid Aesculus carnea