44 Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum

Family: Sapindaceae

Called ‘horse’ because the Turks used to feed the nuts to their sick horses. (They probably made their horses worse because they are poisonous). Unlike the sweet chestnut to which it is only distantly related, these nuts are bitter and tough. Children used them to play ‘conkers’. The leaves have a peculiar “palmate” compound pattern with five or seven leaflets springing from one stalk. There is a large horse chestnut just over the bridge near the Nile St entrance.