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Harry Potter's Whomping willow is moulded from the bark of Kew's elderly sweet chestnut tree

Harry Potter fans will be delighted to learn that the Whomping willow of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is actually modelled on Kew’s magnificent sweet chestnut tree.

Kew's elderly sweet chestnut tree/Harry Potter Whomping Willow tree (Image: James Morley, RBG Kew)

The beautiful twisted bark of one of Kew’s elderly sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa) was used as a model for a very different and more mischievous tree – the Whomping Willow in the Harry Potter films.

A mould was taken of the bark by enveloping the tree in a plaster cast. See if you can spot the resemblance next time you watch the films.

Author: Christina Harrison

Kew magazine


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9 March 2013
Im a big Harry potter fan and my homework is to research a plant a kew gardens and find it on the trip so this is an amazing tree and will definitely use it on my homework!_Ÿ˜„
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