Spanish Chestnut, European Chestnut Castanea sativa

Detailed Listing For
Botanical Name:

Castanea sativa

Family:

Fagaceae

Genus:

Castanea

Species:

sativa

Common Name:

Spanish Chestnut, European Chestnut

Height:
90 feet
Minimum Hardiness Zone:
5


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  • Castanea sativa

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Growing Info:
Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours.
Stratification: cold stratify for 60 days.
Germination: sow 1-2" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.
In a Nutshell:
* The use as food and an ornamental tree caused it to be introduced throughout western Europe, localised populations and cultivation occur on other continents.
* The seed can be eaten raw or cooked. A somewhat astringent taste raw, it improves considerably when cooked and is delicious baked with a floury texture and a flavour rather like sweet potatoes. The seed is rich in carbohydrates, it can be dried, then ground and used as a flour in breads, puddings, as a thickener in soups etc. The roasted seed can be used as a coffee substitute. A sugar can be extracted from the seed. more...
* Sweet chestnut has been listed as one of the 38 substances used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its effect on health. However according to Cancer Research UK, "there is no scientific evidence to prove that flower remedies can control, cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer".
* This tree responds very well to coppicing, which is still practised in Britain, and produces a good crop of tannin-rich wood every 12 to 30 years, depending on intended use and local growth rate. The tannin renders the young growing wood durable and resistant to outdoor use, thus suitable for posts, fencing or stakes.
* Roman soldiers were given chestnut porridge before entering battle. more...