Barcelona Trees: Horse Chestnut or Conker Flowers
Aesculus hippocastanum or common horse chestnut can be seen in some parks of Barcelona so I thought you might like the image of its flowers. These I shot in Bellaterra in early spring. I suppose it must have yielded the characteristic spiny conkers by now. From the seeds of this tree a substance called saponin aescin is extracted and used for health purposes like treating varicose veins, edema, sprains. This constituent strengthens the blood vessels and prevents thrombosis. It has haemolytic properties and is recommended as an astringent and circulatory tonic. The extracts from horse chestnut are used to treat cellulitis. So you see, the beautiful tree and its flowers are not just an adornment. Talking about adornment. Did you know that the leaves of horse chestnut trees are a common pattern in art nouveau architecture? Well, follow this fantastic link and you'll find out more about the use of nature in the Art Nouveau decoration.