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Plant Families / Castanea - Chestnuts

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Castanea - Chestnuts

Long lived, Castanea (Chestnut) are fast-growing and large deciduous trees adding lush beauty and sweet nuts to the landscape. They enjoy handsome long, toothed leaves and conspicuous yellow catkins followed by spiny fruits. There are four different varieties of edible chestnuts: American (C. dentata), European (C. sativa), Chinese (C. mollissima) and Japanese (C. crenata).

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Castanea mollissima (Chinese Chestnut)

Castanea mollissima (Chinese Chestnut) is a medium sized deciduous tree with a short trunk and an open rounded crown adorned with wide-spreading branches. The lustrous dark green, coarsely serrated leaves, 5-8 in. long (12-20 cm), turn yellow to golden brown in the fall. In late spring to early summer, showy but foul-smelling, creamy-white flowers appear in catkins.

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Castanea pumila (Dwarf Chestnut)

Castanea pumila (Dwarf Chestnut) is a large thicket-forming shrub or small tree with spreading lower branches and ascending upper branches. The alternate, oblong, finely serrated leaves, 3-5 in. long (7-12 cm), are glossy green above, silvery tomentose underneath. Prominently veined, they turn yellow to golden brown in the fall. In spring to early summer, showy but strong-smelling, creamy-white flowers appear in catkins.

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Castanea sativa (European Chestnut)

Long-lived (up to 1,000 years), Castanea sativa (European Chestnut) is a large vigorous deciduous tree of pyramidal-rounded to broad-columnar habit with a large trunk, up to 7 ft. (210 cm) and a canopy of glossy, serrate, oblong-lanceolate leaves, 6-10 in. long (15-25 cm). The foliage turns brilliant golden yellow in the fall. In early to midsummer, clusters of yellow-green catkins are on display.

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