horse-chestnut love


from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A dicotyledonous-leafed tree of the genus Æsculus.
  • noun The nut or fruit of the horse-chestnut.
  • noun In entomology, a geometrid moth, Pachycnemia hippocastanaria: an English collector’ name.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) The large nutlike seed of a species of Æsculus (Æsculus Hippocastanum), formerly ground, and fed to horses, whence the name. The seed is not considered edible by humans.
  • noun (Bot.) The tree itself (Aesculus hippocastanum), which was brought from Constantinople in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and is now common in the temperate zones of both hemispheres; it has palmate leaves and large clusters of white to red flowers followed by brown shiny inedible seeds. The native American species is also called buckeye and conker.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A species of trees of the genus Aesculus as it is known in Eurasia, common in the temperate zones of both hemispheres.
  • noun The large nutlike seed of these trees.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the inedible nutlike seed of the horse chestnut
  • noun tree having palmate leaves and large clusters of white to red flowers followed by brown shiny inedible seeds


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • A good street tree in areas of North America where it can thrive, since it resists poorer soils and pollution from the incessant traffic of our time. The spiny fruit husks and large, beautiful, mahogany-colored seeds do, however, constitute a "maintenance problem" for those who believe lawns and roadsides must needs be immaculate with nary a leaf, fruit, seed or bit of seasonal mast.

    March 16, 2011

  • Plenty in Europe too. Love 'em. I am not an immaculate roadsider.

    March 16, 2011

  • One of my very favourite trees - shady, strong, and genial, with that exquisite contrast between the spikiness of the husk and the smoothness of the seed. And fond childhood memories of scouring the lanes and fields for prime conker material.

    March 16, 2011

  • See also horse chestnut.

    March 16, 2011

  • ippocastano in Italian.

    March 16, 2011

  • I have a huge horse-chestnut tree in my back garden. It overhangs the road.

    It has a Tree Preservation Order on it, which means that it cannot even be pruned without Local Authority permission.

    Sadly, I am currently discussing the felling of it with the the powers that be as it is suffering from Bleeding Canker, which will eventually kill it off. Meanwhile, it is becoming prone to shedding limbs, and is therefore a danger.

    The disease is sweeping the UK having moved over from Continental Europe.

    A huge proportion of the horse-chestnut tree population of the UK is being lost to the disease.

    March 16, 2011

  • I'm sorry that playing conkers didn't ever take hold in the US. Instead, we got clackers.

    March 17, 2011

  • Clackers is new to me - looks like an executive stress toy! It's got none of the naked aggression and potential for embarrassment that conkers has. But my favourite thing about conkers was nurturing a winner, just as a promoter guides the career of a champion boxer - you'd train it, and hype it, and only bring it out when you thought the potential glory to be gained not only outweighed the risk of defeat, but was substantial in and of itself - which was increasingly rarely. In the meantime you'd be throwing your one-ers and two-ers into battle, trying whether they had what it took.

    And there was the whole technical side, which others really got into, with dousing and baking and vinegaring, and different ways of drilling and different kinds of string - but in my experience, none of that alchemy really helped; in fact a good hard conker needed no treatment to beat any number of treated ones.

    March 17, 2011

  • Buckeye

    March 19, 2011

  • Genus Aesculus. Eurasian species are known as horse-chestnuts; North American species are called buckeyes. The genus, along with those of the maples (Acer, Dipteronia) are now included within the large tropical family Sapindaceae, the soapberry family, based upon molecular and genetic data in conjunction with morphological characters.

    March 19, 2011