A chestnut or a buckeye? These two genera, popularly confused, have different leaves and flowers, but their fruit placed on a spiny capsule looks similar. Sweet chestnut is a long-lived tree from the Mediterranean and Black Sea area, with thick shiny leaves and hanging panicles of flowers.
The first specimen was planted in Lusławice by Penderecki’s predecessor, while the composer himself added an original ragged-leaved variety. Its nutritious fruit, called marron in French, was already known in ancient Rome, and tastes best when fried; it can also be used as a substitute for coffee.