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 ?
I remember fondly collecting conkers many years ago with my dad and brother.
So here's a list of places to head to for your conker hunt.
But he was concerned some pupils may be distracted, may feel their conker prowess is more important than the curriculum.
Through the Conker Tree Science website, people can record where they've seen an infected tree, the amount of damage caused and how many leaf mining caterpillars have been attacked by birds," said Dr Evans.
Take turns to hit your conker against an opponent's.
Mrs Tee - @JillTeee - tweeted: "There are some beauty conker trees on the ring road next to the police station.
Now, Mario might add conkers to his pad's stash of water pistols, fireworks and remote-controlled car.
Championship committee member Geeta Bannister said: "The conkers were so small last year but this year we are more optimistic.
They came into the firing line when some head teachers banned conkers from their playgrounds in case a child got injured and their school got the blame.
Actually, there were nuts but only tiddlers, due to disease blighting the horse chestnut trees near Ashton Conker Club.
Nothing's been proven but the theory is that conkers contain a chemical that spiders hate.
An early crop of conkers has been attacked by a ravaging moth, putting traditional conker fights at risk