The fruit of a horse chestnut tree

Horse chestnut

Horse chestnuts really are a tree for all seasons. In spring and early summer there is a magnificant flower display, with white candle-like spikes surrounding the canopy. Autumn, as every school child knows, offers up the conker - a nut that has been used in playground battles for centuries. These 'big guns' of the battlefield replaced the cobnut and snail shells used previously. The horse chestnut tries to protect its seeds in a spiny case. They are also mildly poisonous if eaten, although some creatures can safely consume them. This iconic tree is native to the Balkans.

Scientific name: Aesculus hippocastanum

Rank: Species

Common names:

Conker tree

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The Horse chestnut can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Horse chestnut distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Plants
  3. Flowering plants
  4. Dicotyledons
  5. Soapberry, maple and citrus
  6. Hippocastanaceae
  7. Aesculus
  8. Horse chestnut

BBC News about Horse chestnut

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