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. sativa – Spanish Chestnut – Sweet Chestnut – This vigorous, deciduous tree from Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Southwestern Asia and around the Mediterranean grows 100′ feet tall and 50′ feet wide. It is pyramidal when young late columnar with deep spiral furrows in the bark when mature. It produces oblong, coarsely toothed, glossy, dark green leaves, to 8″ long. It bears edible fruit ripen in autumn,, leaves turn from yellowish green to gold and russet. The yellow-green catkins make an attractive show in mid summer