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Young Horse Chestnuts, Conkers, green on a tree, Hatton, Warrington, Cheshire, North West England, UK

Young Horse Chestnuts, Conkers, green on a tree, Hatton, Warrington, Cheshire, North West England, UK Stock Photo
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Image details

Contributor:

Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

Image ID:

PCTAFD

File size:

47.3 MB (1.9 MB Compressed download)

Releases:

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Dimensions:

4536 x 3648 px | 38.4 x 30.9 cm | 15.1 x 12.2 inches | 300dpi

Date taken:

2 August 2018

Location:

Hatton, Warrington, UK

More information:

Aesculus hippocastanum is a large tree, growing to about 39 metres (128 ft) tall with a domed crown of stout branches; on old trees the outer branches are often pendulous with curled-up tips. The leaves are opposite and palmately compound, with 5–7 leaflets; each leaflet is 13–30 cm long, making the whole leaf up to 60 cm across, with a 7–20 cm petiole. The leaf scars left on twigs after the leaves have fallen have a distinctive horseshoe shape, complete with seven "nails". The flowers are usually white with a yellow to pink blotch at the base of the petals; they are produced in spring in erect panicles 10–30 cm tall with about 20–50 flowers on each panicle. Usually only 1–5 fruit develop on each panicle; the shell is a green, spiky capsule containing one (rarely two or three) nut-like seeds called conkers or horse-chestnuts. Each conker is 2–4 cm diameter, glossy nut-brown with a whitish scar at the base. The common name "horse-chestnut" (often unhyphenated) is reported as having originated from the erroneous belief that the tree was a kind of chestnut (though in fact only distantly related), together with the observation that the fruit could help panting horses. Aesculus hippocastanum is native to a small area in the Pindus Mountains mixed forests and Balkan mixed forests of South East Europe. However, it can be found in many parts of Europe as far north as Gästrikland in Sweden, as well as in many parks and cities in the United States and Canada.

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