horse chestnut

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horse chestnut,

common name for some members of the Hippocastanaceae, a family of trees and shrubs of the north temperate zones and of South America. The horse chestnut tree, Aesculus hippocastanum, a native of the Balkan peninsula, is now cultivated in many countries for shade and ornament. Buckeyes are several similar but often smaller North American species of the same genus. Horse chestnuts and buckeyes (as the nuts too are called) somewhat resemble true chestnuts in appearance but are edible only after careful preparation. Some Native Americans ate buckeyes in large quantity after thorough roasting or leaching. Buckeyes, with their eyelike markings, are still carried as charms by some rural people. Ohio is called the Buckeye State from the prevalence of the Ohio buckeye, A. glabra. The wood of the horse chestnut and of the buckeye is soft; it has been used for paper pulp and for carpentry, woodenware, and other similar purposes. A compound derived from the buckeye, aesculin, is a pharmaceutical used as an anti-inflammatory. The only other genus of the family is Billia, evergreens ranging from Colombia to Mexico. Horse chestnuts are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Hippocastanallae.

horse chestnut

[′hȯrs ¦ches·nət]
(botany)
Aesculus hippocastanum. An ornamental buckeye tree in the order Sapindales, usually with seven leaflets per leaf and resinous buds.

horse chestnut

1. any of several trees of the genus Aesculus, esp the Eurasian A. hippocastanum, having palmate leaves, erect clusters of white, pink, or red flowers, and brown shiny inedible nuts enclosed in a spiky bur: family Hippocastanaceae
2. the nut of this tree
References in periodicals archive ?
The contest was organised by Ed Woollard, social enterprise manager at The Reader Organisation, and saw competitors undertake their conker duels by the park's Mansion House.
They take turns hitting each other's conker using their own.
Now, Mario might add conkers to his pad's stash of water pistols, fireworks and remote-controlled car.
Mrs Richards, 54, said: "It's amazing to have her back - and all because of a conker.
Championship committee member Geeta Bannister said: "The conkers were so small last year but this year we are more optimistic.
Amy Allport, 9, and 11-year-old Laura McLoughlin battle it out in Sefton Park at the Liverpool Conker Championships Picture: GARETH JONES
But he was concerned some ma pupils y be distracted, may feel their conker prowess is more important than the curriculum.
But I've replaced one nasty surprise with another - when I see the conkers on the floor, I think the cat's done a whoopsy.
The Woodland Trust has predicted that an early crop of conkers could be damaged by the horse chestnut leaf miner which is drying out leaves and turning them brown.
Things you'll need (for a full bath): Half a bucket of ripe conkers, around 900g Enough water to cover the conkers Get started: First, remove the spiky shell from the conkers.
But 16 months later much-loved Molly has been returned - thanks to a freak accident when she gobbled down a conker 300 miles away.
The annual Bardon Mill and Roman Empire Conker Championships were put in jeopardy when this year's local crop of horse chestnuts came up short of competition size.