Fascinating Facts about Horse Chestnut

Fascinating Facts about Horse Chestnut

Interesting Facts

  • 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.

Botanic Facts

  • 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

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