Horse Chestnut


Hazard Information

Route: Ingestion     Plant Part: 'Conker', bark, flowers, young leaves

Scale: Low

Vomiting and stomach upsets.

Large quantities (highly unlikely) can be more serious leading to unconsciousness and death.




Common Name(s)

Horse Chestnut

Latin Name

Aesculus Hippocastanum


This tree can grow to 30 metres (100 feet) tall. The twigs have sticky brown scales in spring, developing into large course stalked leaves. The flowers are creamy coloured spikes occasionally red or pink and grow at the tips of the branches. Green fruit appear in a tough outer skin with coarse spikes covering the case, the seeds inside are reddish brown and are known as "conkers".


Children tend to play with the "conkers" which are poisonous if eaten, also the bark, flowers and young leaves are toxic.


Stomach upsets including vomiting are usual results from eating this plant. Eating large quantities which is unlikely can be extremely serious and can lead to unconsciousness or death.

Flowering Period

Spring flowers, seeds or "conkers" late summer - autumn. 


Parks, streets, gardens.