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
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