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Chrysolepis chrysophylla

Chrysolepis chrysophylla (Douglas ex Hook.) Hjelmqvist

Giant Chinquapin, Golden Chinkapin

Fagaceae (Beech Family)


USDA Symbol: CHCH7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Evergreen tree with straight trunk, becoming grooved or fluted, and with stout, spreading branches and broad, rounded crown; also a shrub variety.

A handsome tree with a massive trunk, this species attains a large size. The showy, whitish blossoms have a strong odor. The edible nuts, like small chestnuts, borne in small quantities, are usually consumed by chipmunks and ground squirrels.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Up to about 100 feet tall. Sometimes up to 150 feet in cool moist areas.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May


Native Distribution: Pacific Coast region from SW. Washington south in Coast Ranges to central California; also local in the Sierra Nevada of central California; to 1500' (457 m); shrub variety to 6000' (1829 m).
Native Habitat: Gravelly and rocky soils in mountain slopes and canyons in Redwood and evergreen forests. Shrub variety on dry ridges in chaparral and Knobcone Pine forests.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Chrysolepis chrysophylla in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chrysolepis chrysophylla in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chrysolepis chrysophylla


Record Modified: 2022-11-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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