These were in abundance throughout Germany and looks kinda strange.

Image of a strange seed/fruit in Germany

  • 1
    These are not specific to Germany, you will find them in abundance in the United Kingdom, for example. – Jack Aidley Jan 25 '17 at 9:41
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    How did you never see a common chesnut before? – Davor Jan 25 '17 at 11:43
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    I grew up in the U.K. And hadn't seen a Conner until I was an adult. Even then I hadn't seen this spiky bit until relatively recently. They are not ubiquitous. – Rory Alsop Jan 25 '17 at 14:18
  • Indeed I was also surprised to learn that someone could have not seen one. – Rugnir Jan 25 '17 at 15:34
  • I should have stated that i noticed this in my second week of being in Germany. I live in India and never seen anything like this here :) – ishan Jan 27 '17 at 9:13
up vote 24 down vote accepted

These are not exactly the seeds, but the hull of the seeds of the horse chestnut.

Chestnuts.

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aesculus_hippocastanum_fruit.jpg

  • 3
    Horse chestnuts are sometimes colloquially known as conkers. – Aravona Jan 25 '17 at 8:33
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    And, by the way, the German name is basically the literal translation "Rosskastanie". Where a "Ross" is another name for "Pferd" (horse), and "Kastanie" means chestnut. – anderas Jan 25 '17 at 10:34
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    More by the way: you can see the nuts themselves (which are sometimes also called buckeyes in American English) on the ground in your photo. They are poisonous. However, you can also find real/sweet chestnut trees in Germany (Esskastanien/Edelkastanien/Kastanien/Maronen) which have similar looking nuts and also spiky hulls (but those spikes are made of very many needle-like spines which will make your hands itch). – Max Jan 25 '17 at 10:42
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    You don't often find round sweet chestnuts (though they do exist). Most commonly two or three grow in a single (very prickly) hull, and so the nuts have one or two flat sides. In contrast conkers / horse chestnuts are most often round. – nigel222 Jan 25 '17 at 11:59
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    @Aravona I've been conked, and have conked a few with chestnuts back in the day here in Canada. A green chestnut on the end of a twig is the closest I've ever come to charging into battle with a mace. – ShemSeger Nov 29 '17 at 0:54

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