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Castanea alnifolia - Nutt.
                 
Common Name Bush Chinkapin
Family Fagaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sandy soils[11, 82, 229] in open woodlands or in thickets[227], also in rich upland deciduous woodlands[229].
Range South-eastern N. America - N. Carolina to Arkansas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Castanea alnifolia Bush Chinkapin


Castanea alnifolia Bush Chinkapin
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Castanea alnifolia is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are 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 and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms

Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Seed.
Edible Uses:

Seed - raw or cooked[105, 177]. Of excellent quality[183]. The seed is small but it is sweet and larger than C. pumila[11, 183] though produced less abundantly[11]. 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 burs have less prickles, making it easier to harvest the seed[183].
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.



None known
Other Uses
Tannin.

The bark, leaves, wood and seed husks all contain tannin.
Cultivation details
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]. This species only really thrives in areas with hot summers[200], it may not be hardy in Britain[11]. Another report says that it succeeds in climatic zone 7 and should therefore tolerate temperatures down to at least -10°c[200]. Usually a small shrub[11], this species occasionally reaches small-tree size (as C. alnifolia floridana. Sarg.)[82] This species is similar to and often confused with C. pumila[1, 11]. An excellent soil-enriching understorey shrub in pine forests[200]. It grows into a clump by means of suckers[183, 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].
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]. Division of suckers in winter[200]. They can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Books by Plants For A Future

Other Names
Found In
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 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 speciesChestnut Hybrids30
Castanea x neglectaChinknut30
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Botanical References
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Subject : Castanea alnifolia  

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