Castanea pumila (L.) Mill.
Chinkapin, Allegheny chinquapin, Allegheny-chinkapin, Chinquapin
Fagaceae (Beech Family)
USDA Symbol: CAPU9
Tree or large, thicket-forming shrub to 30 ft. Single- or multi-trunked with horizontal lower branches, ascending in upper crown. Glossy, dark green, toothed leaves turn yellowish or purple in fall. Flower is a long, pencil-like, pale yellow spike and the fruit is a nut enclosed in a prickly, bur-like husk.
Captain John Smith published the first record of this nut in 1612: They [Native Americans] have a small fruit growing on little trees, husked like a Chestnut, but the fruit most like a very small acorne. This they call Checkinquamins, which they esteem a great daintie.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 12-36 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: S. NJ to GA, w. to s.e. OK & e. TX
Native Habitat: Sandy, open, dry woods & thickets
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Sandy, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam
Conditions Comments: Produces a sweet nut. Susceptible to chestnut blight.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive, Blooms ornamental, Aromatic
Use Wildlife: Seeds are a favorite food of deer, squirrels, and other animals. Nectar-insects, Fruit-mammals, Fruit-birds
Use Food: The edible nuts were a favorite of indigenous people.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)Castanea pumila is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Orange-tipped oakworm moth |
Learn more at BAMONA
PropagationDescription: Germination of seeds requires fall sowing or stratification. Remove husks before sowing. Cuttings should be made from juvenile wood.
Seed Collection: Collect the ripe burs of husks as they begin to dry but before they split. Seeds are mature when firm, filled out, and glossy brown.
Seed Treatment: Stratification for 30-60 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
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From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
LAMTREE FARM - Warrensville, NC
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1243 - The Southeastern Indians (1976) Hudson, Charles
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Castanea pumila in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Castanea pumila in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Castanea pumila
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-06-03
Research By: TWC Staff