Indian Conkers

Travel with Intent


This is the Indian Horse Chestnut, clearly distinguishable by its thin, smooth-skinned conker cases.   Best avoided if you’re planning a conker fight.

And don’t be tempted to eat them either.  Although some animals, deer and squirrels amongst them,  are quite partial to these seeds, they are poisonous to humans as they contain aesculin, which destroys red blood cells.  That said, In India, Indian horse chestnut seeds are ground into flour, steeped to get rid of the toxins, and used for flatbreads or porridges.


Conkers apart, it is a majestic tree, with a rounded canopy shape, large glossy leaves and beautiful spiky flowers from May to July.

It can grow to about 30 m tall and spread to about 12 m wide. 

All of the photos in this post were taken in Kew Gardens in October 2013.

Linked to the Festival of Leaves.

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