Site address (not postal)

Woodcroft Wildspace

Woodcroft

London     

N21 3QP

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HORSE CHESTNUT
leaf and "conkers"

HORSE CHESTNUT (Aesculus hippocastamun)

The horse chestnut is a large deciduous tree which grows up to 36m in height.

The horse chestnut tree flowers from April to mid-May and the flowers are white with a small red spot. They are produced in erect panicles 10-20 cm tall and are popularly known as 'candles', since they seem to light up the tree.

The fruit is a green, spiky capsule containing one (rarely two or three) nut-like seeds called horse chestnuts. These are popularly known as conkers. The conkers are poisonous to humans as they contain an alkaloid called saponin but they provide food for deer as deer are able to break down the toxin. Conkers are valued by children for use in a popular game.

Sadly, this lovely tree is now being threatened by Bleeding Canker and Leaf Mining Moth.

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