Castanea – Chestnut – Chinquapin –
There are about 12 species of deciduous trees and large shrubs, in this genus. They occur in cool climates in Southern Europe, Asia, Northern Africa and North America. They have alternate, elliptic or val, feather like arrangement of veins, and toothed leaves, and, in early summer, bear small, strongly scented cream flowers in showy catkins. Chestnuts are grown for their bold foliage and prickly, burr like husked, sometimes edible nuts, 3/4-2 ½” across. Grow then as specimen trees in woodland gardens. Several species are of economic importance, being grown for their sweet tasting edible nuts, which are also attractive to wildlife.
Grow in deep, well drained, slightly acidic, loam soil in sun or partial shade, most species tolerate dry, sandy soils.
Prone to chestnut blight, dieback, stem canker, heart rot, powdery mildew, anthranose, eye spot, and leaf scorch.
C. pumila ‘Ashei’ – Chinquapin – Allegheny Chinkapin – This large shrub or small tree grows 20-25′ feet tall and 5-8′ feet wide. From downy young shoots it carries coarsely toothed, oblong-ovate, dark green leaves, to 5″ long, densely white woolly beneath. Edible fruit ripen in autumn attracting a wide variety of wildlife. Has less densely spiny bracts than the species.