HORSE CHESTNUT (Aesculus hippocastanum)
In spring the spectacular trusses of pink and white flowers hang between the huge distinctive leaves, which have five or more long leaflets. The common name "horse-chestnut" originated from the erroneous belief that the tree was a kind of chestnut, (it is only distantly related), and that that eating the fruit cured horses of chest complaints despite this plant being poisonous to horses. In Britain and Ireland, the gorgeous, very large and highly polished seeds (when freshly-collected) are used for the popular children's game conkers, when the seeds are drilled, threaded onto string and used to hit another's "conker" until one breaks, they are the "loser"! The large seeds are said to repel spiders although many do not believe these claims! This lovely flower is the symbol of the city of Kiev, capital of Ukraine. Seeds are best planted about 6-8 cm. deep after they have dried and shrivelled a little. They will sprout within 3 to 6 months as a rule.
These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and cold-stored for several months. They should be planted about 6-8 cm. deep into the garden or into well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered to their own depth with sand or grit. No artificial heat is needed; the seed tray is best left in a cool spot outside and kept moist. Seeds germinate very slowly indeed in the spring after a chilling in the cold compost, regardless of when they are sown. Some seeds may take more than a year to germinate.
Common name:Conkers, Buckeye
Packet Content:3 huge (Approx)