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The Common Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is a large deciduous tree, native to a small area in the mountains of the Balkans in southeast Europe, mainly in north eastern Greece but also locally in Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is widely cultivated throughout the temperate world.
It grows to 36 m tall, with a domed crown of stout branches, on old trees the outer branches often pendulous with curled-up tips. The leaves are opposite and palmately compound, with 5-7 leaflets; each leaflet is 10-25 cm long, making the whole leaf up to 50 cm across, with a 20 cm petiole. The flowers are usually white with a small red spot; they are produced in spring in erect panicles 10-20 cm tall with about 20-50 flowers on each panicle. Usually only 1-5 fruit develop on each panicle; the fruit is a green, softly spiky capsule containing one (rarely two or three) nut-like seeds called horse chestnuts and also known as conkers. Each conker is 2-4 cm diameter, glossy nut-brown with a whitish scar at the base.
Cultivation for its spectacular spring flowers is successful in a range of climatic conditions provided summers are not too hot
In Britain, the nuts are used for the popular children's game Conkers. During the two world wars, horse-chestnuts were used as a source of starch
Aesculus Hippocastanum - Horse Chestnut
Starter trees are 40 - 60 cm high
1 - 3 £4.00 each
4 - 6 £3.50 each
7+ £3.00 each