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Castanea species - Various

Common Name Chestnut Hybrids
Family Fagaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in a wild situation.
Range Hybrid origin
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Castanea species Chestnut Hybrids


Castanea species Chestnut Hybrids

 

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Summary

An excellent starchy staple used for thousands of years in cold, humid climates. The four main species groups are commonly known as American (Castanea dentata, Castanea pumila), European (Castanea sativa), Chinese (Castanea mollissima, Castanea henryi, Castanea seguinii ), and Japanese chestnuts (Castanea crenata). Chestnuts should not be confused with horse chestnuts or buckeyes (genus Aesculus), which are not related to Castanea. There are many hybrid varieties including a Chinese-American hybrid close to the original American chestnut [1-1].


Physical Characteristics

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Castanea species is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Edible Uses

Seed - raw or cooked[183]. Eaten raw, there is a distinct astringency, especially if the fleshy inner skin beneath the outer shell of the seed is not removed[K]. When cooked, however, and especially when baked, the seed becomes much sweeter and has a floury texture[K]. It then makes an excellent food and can be used as a staple food in much the same way as potatoes or cereals[K]. The seed is low in fats and oils but high in carbohydrates[183]. Carbon Farming Solutions - Staple Crop: balanced carb (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people's diets in a particular region of the world) [1-1].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Some see for example the individual entries for Castanea dentata, Castanea mollissima, Castanea pumila

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Other Uses

The bark, leaves, wood and seed husks all contain tannin. Wood - hard, strong, light. Carbon Farming Solutions - Industrial Crop: biomass, tannin (Crops grown for non-food uses. Industrial crops provide resources in three main categories: materials, chemicals, and energy. Traditional materials include lumber and thatch, paper and cardboard, and textiles) [1-1]. Other Systems: woody agriculture.

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass  Industrial Crop: Tannin  Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  New Crop  Other Systems: Woody agriculture  Staple Crop: Balanced carb

Climate: cold to warm temperate. Humidity: humid. This record includes a number of garden hybrids involving various species - the origin of each hybrid will be mentioned in the individual cultivar notes. To date, these different hybrids have not been assigned their own specific name. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a good well-drained slightly acid loam but succeeds in dry soils[1, 11, 200]. Once established, it is very drought tolerant[1, 11, 200]. Very tolerant of highly acid, infertile dry sands[200]. Averse to calcareous soils but succeeds on harder limestones[11, 200]. An excellent soil-enriching understorey in pine forests[200]. Flowers are produced on wood of the current year's growth[229]. Plants are fairly self-sterile[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: new crop. Management: standard, coppice (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

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Propagation

Seed - where possible sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a seed bed outdoors[78]. The seed must be protected from mice and squirrels. The seed has a short viability and must not be allowed to become dry. It can be stored in a cool place, such as the salad compartment of a fridge, for a few months if it is kept moist, but check regularly for signs of germination. The seed should germinate in late winter or early spring. If sown in an outdoor seedbed, the plants can be left in situ for 1 - 2 years before planting them out in their permanent positions. If grown in pots, the plants can be put out into their permanent positions in the summer or autumn, making sure to give them some protection from the cold in their first winter[K]. These plants are of hybrid origin, so seed is unlikely to breed true[K].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Hybrid & Neohybrid Chestnuts. Castanea spp.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Castanea alnifoliaBush Chinkapin30
Castanea crenataJapanese Chestnut30
Castanea dentataAmerican Sweet Chestnut31
Castanea henryi 30
Castanea mollissimaChinese Chestnut32
Castanea ozarkensisOzark Chinkapin30
Castanea pumilaChinquapin, Ozark chinkapin41
Castanea pumila asheiChinquapin41
Castanea sativaSweet Chestnut, European chestnut52
Castanea seguiniiChinese Chinquapin30
Castanea x neglectaChinknut30

 

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