Castanea pumila

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Castanea pumila - Allegheny Chinkapin, Chinquapin, Dwarf Chestnut
Common name: Allegheny Chinkapin, Chinquapin, Dwarf Chestnut
Family: Fagaceae (Beech)
Distribution: C and E USA
Habitat: Mixed hardwood forests on high ridges free from limestone. 0-1350 meters.
Hardiness: -10 - 40 F
Life form: Deciduous tree
Bloom Time: June to July
Average height: 20'
Foliage characteristics: Simple, alternate, oblong leaves with serrated margines. Undersides of leaves are hairy. Up to 6" in length.
Bloom characteristics: Male flowers grow in leaf axils, are elongated, clustered, and have a strong odor. Female flowers are rounder and 1" in diameter.
Fruit characteristics: Fruit is round and spiny, and contains a single sweet kernel. 1" diameter. Mature in August to September.
Bark characteristics: Twig: red-brown and densely hairy Young: smooth, gray-brown Mature: brown and ridged
Medicinal/pharmaceutical: Cherokee Indians used dried leaves in a wash to relieve headaches, fevers, chills, cold sweats, and fever blisters. Koasati Indians used roots as a decoction for stomachaches.
Ethnobotanical uses: Nuts are sweet and edible.
Fall color: Yellow
Description: The chinkapin tree, like the American chestnut, produces a sweet, edible nut that is prefered over the American chestnut by many. Not a common tree, it has also been impacted by chestnut blight.
Chinkapin trees are Threatened in Kentucky, Endangered in New Jersey, and Extirpated in most of Alabama.
Links: GRIN Taxonomy - Simple Query Species DataUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service


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