Why are chestnuts called conkers?
The first recorded game of Conkers using horse chestnuts was on the Isle of Wight in 1848. The name may come from the dialect word conker, meaning “knock out” (perhaps related to French conque meaning a conch, as the game was originally played using snail shells and small bits of string.)
What is the proper name for conkers?
horse chestnut tree
The real name for a conker tree is the horse chestnut tree. Its scientific name is the Aesculus hippocastanum.
What is the difference between horse chestnut and sweet chestnut?
Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), which has similar nuts, but those of the sweet chestnut are smaller and found in clusters. The leaves are completely different, with sweet chestnut having single, long, serrated leaves and horse chestnut having hand-shaped leaves with deeply divided lobes or ‘fingers’.
What is the purpose of conker?
Conker conundrum While it may not come as a surprise, considering the name of the tree they come from, conkers have been fed to horses as a stimulant, to make their coat shine and as a remedy for coughs, and also made into food for both horses and cattle.
Why are conkers banned?
12 Conkers Instead, it’s through fear of allergies. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents increasing numbers of children are allergic to conkers due to a decrease in outdoor play doing stuff like, erm, playing conkers.
Are chestnuts poisonous to dogs?
Unlike conkers, sweet chestnuts are non-toxic for humans and dogs.
Do conkers keep spiders away?
Using conkers to keep spiders away is a centuries-old method of repelling pests, but that doesn’t actually mean conkers and spiders can’t be friends. Putting conkers around the house to deter spiders is an old wives’ tale and there’s no evidence to suggest it really works.
Do squirrels eat sweet chestnuts?
Grey squirrels are almost exclusively herbivorous. They eat acorns, hazel nuts, sweet chestnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, berries, fungi, grains, vegetables, buds and shoots, bark and peanuts from bird feeders. Squirrels will hoard nuts and seeds in preparation for winter, gathering them and burying them in caches all over.
How poisonous are horse chestnuts?
Horse chestnut contains significant amounts of a poison called esculin and can cause death if eaten raw. Horse chestnut also contains a substance that thins the blood.
Why are spiders afraid of conkers?
Conkers might not repel spiders Unfortunately, there’s no proof this is true. The story goes that conkers contain a noxious chemical that repels spiders but no-one’s ever been able to scientifically prove it. There’s hearsay that if a spider gets close to a conker it will curl its legs up and die within one day.
Is playing conkers banned in schools?
There’s no law or government policy banning children from playing conkers, so we’re not sure exactly what you’d like the Government or Parliament to do. If an individual school decides to ban conkers on health & safety grounds, this would be a decision for the school, not the Government or Parliament.
Are conkers safe to play with?
The golden leaves are falling and with this, so are conkers. Horse chestnut is a deciduous tree which produces the conkers children like to play with, and even collect. Conkers themselves are mildly toxic and can cause stomach upset.
What’s the difference between a Conker and a sweet chestnut?
Both come in green shells, but conker cases have short, stumpy spikes all over. Inside, the conkers are round and glossy. Sweet chestnut cases have lots of very find spikes, giving them the appearance of small green hedgehogs. Each case contains two or three nuts and, unlike conkers, they are edible.
When do conkers fall from a chestnut tree?
A conker is the seed of the horse chestnut tree (not the sweet chestnut tree where we get edible chestnuts from). It is a hard brown nut which is found in a prickly casing. The green outer casing of the seed will turn brown and crack open revealing the conkers inside. They fall from the tree when they are ripe during the autumn months.
What kind of nuts are in a conker case?
Sweet chestnut cases have lots of very find spikes, giving them the appearance of small green hedgehogs. Each case contains two or three nuts and, unlike conkers, they are edible. Roasted chestnuts are a popular Christmas dish, while chestnut flour is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.
What kind of tree does a conker come from?
A conker is the seed of the horse chestnut tree (not the sweet chestnut tree where we get edible chestnuts from).