European Horse Chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

Aesculus hippocastanum is commonly called the Horse Chestnut or conker tree. It is also sometimes called European or Spanish Horse Chestnut (although that is a different species) or Buckeye. It is a large gree growing to as much as 40 meters high with a thick trunk and wide-spreading slightly conical form. The creamy white flowers form upright panicles in Spring and produce the large familiar nuts in Autumn. It is native to a small area of southwest Europe.

It has been typically grown as an ornamental or shade tree, and, of course, as a source of conkers for using as a game.

Funky Facts File: It is related to the lychee family. The leaf scars left on twigs when the leaves fall are the shape of horse shoes replete with seven ‘nails’. The fruit were said to be a cure for ‘cough’ in horses, although they are toxic to them.