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Castanea mollissima - Blume.
                 
Common Name Chinese Chestnut
Family Fagaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and forests to 2500 metres[109]. Mountain slopes from near sea level to 2,800 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary
Bloom Color: White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded.

Castanea mollissima Chinese Chestnut


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Castanea mollissima Chinese Chestnut
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Castanea mollissima is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft 0in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. 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. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Synonyms
C. bungeana. C. duclouxii. C. hupehensis.

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

Seed - raw or cooked[46, 61, 63, 105]. 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 skin (or pellicle) of the seed is easily peeled[183]. The seed is low in fats and oils but high in carbohydrates[183]. A nutritional analysis is available[218].
Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)
  • 403 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 11.9g; Fat: 2.7g; Carbohydrate: 83.2g; Fibre: 2.2g; Ash: 0g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 36mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 168mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.29mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.32mg; Niacin: 1.44mg; B6: 0mg; C: 65mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes:
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.

Antidote;  Astringent;  Stomachic.

The burrs (seed cases?) are rich in tannin and are astringent and stomachic[147, 218]. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, uncontrollable nose bleed, dysentery, regurgitation and profound thirst[147]. The flowers are used in the treatment of scrofula[218]. The stem bark is used to treat poisoned wounds whilst the stem sap is used to treat lacquer poisoning[218].
Other Uses
Fuel;  Tannin;  Wood.

The bark, leaves, wood and seed husks all contain tannin. Wood - hard, strong, light. Used for fence posts etc[11]. Coppiced for fuel.
Cultivation details
Industrial Crop: Biomass;  Industrial Crop: Tannin;  Management: Standard;  Minor Global Crop;  Other Systems: Strip intercrop;  Staple Crop: Balanced carb.

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]. Although very winter-hardy, this species does not do well in Britain, it only really thrives in areas with hot summers[200]. Does not fruit well in Britain[11, 200]. A tree in semi-shade at Kew in 1990 was 9 metres tall[K]. Extensively cultivated for its edible seed in China, and also much grown in America, there are a number of named varieties[117, 183, 200, 266]. Plants can fruit in 5 - 7 years from seed[117] and yields from mature trees are around 25 - 60 kilos per tree[160]. Resistant, but not immune, to blight[183], it is hybridized with C. dentata to try and find blight resistant cultivars with superior seeds[200]. A shallow rooted tree[160]. Responds well to coppicing[11, 109]. 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]. Special Features: Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.
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].
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 alnifoliaBush Chinkapin30
Castanea crenataJapanese Chestnut30
Castanea dentataAmerican Sweet Chestnut31
Castanea henryi 30
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 mollissima  

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