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Mike's Blog - Day 150

A Conker for you today. To be honest you would pass this by as it looks like a regular English Horse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum, but it’s not. It’s the Japanese version, Aesculus turbinata, on the Japanese bank near the lower steps of the winter garden.

Its conker shell is smooth unlike the English one.

There are some marks on its leaf I noticed, and also on an English chestnut near the monkey puzzle.

That chestnut is actually a rootstock sucker. The main plant is an American Chestnut, Aesculus flava (Yellow Buckeye) from the Ohio valley in the Appalachian mountains, which is quite different in its leaves. Its leaves are more like the walnut leaves.

They are clean and don’t seem to be infected like the leaves that are either English, or at least resemble the English leaves.

We suspected the marks on the leaves were possibly caused by Horse-chestnut Leaf-miner moth. However none of these tiny moths had been recorded in any of the BioSciences moth traps. Then lo and behold one turned up in a trap in the woods close to the Botanic garden on Tuesday!

The end of the bamboo tip.