419 Once a cure for horse coughs is a good old chestnut

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Its a brave leaf which has grown fast to explore the world at least 2 months before it should. On its own in Treespace, the hardy HORSE CHESTNUT is also known as the “Conker ” tree. See video below for explanation of “conkers” and you’ll see why the British are completely bonkers about conkers.

The Woodland Trust UK says : The leaf stalks leave a scar on the twig when they fall, which resembles an inverted horse shoe with nail holes. This association with horses could explain why conkers used to be ground up and fed to horses to relieve them of coughs, and could be the origin of the tree’s name.

The brown seed is apparently not a true chestnut  An immigrant to the UK, it was brought over from Northern Europe before the days of border control. The trees are very attractive and so of course, we think of them as British. These long term visitors can live to a good old stay of around 300 years.  They have been here for so long, we no longer realise they were never native. Even without a passport,  they look a perfect part of the landscape, so we consider them very, very British.

And because its British to use the same word to mean different things –  an ‘old chestnut’ is a slang term for “that old story / joke”.


© 2017 La Floralie 3


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