Chinese Chestnut

Botanical Name : Castanea mollissima
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Castanea
Species: C. mollissima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms:Castanea bungeana Blume; C. duclouxii Dode; C. fargesii Dode; C. formosana (Hayata) Hayata; C. hupehensis Dode; C. mollissima var. pendula X. Y. Zhou & Z. D. Zhou; C. sativa Miller var. formosana Hayata; C. sativa var. mollissima (Blume) Pampanini; C. vulgaris Lamarck var. yunnanensis Franchet.

Common Name :Chinese Chestnut

Habitat : Castanea mollissima is native to China.In the provinces of Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, and Zhejiang, and also to Taiwan and Korea. It grows close to sea level in the north of its range, and at altitudes of up to 2,800 m in the south of the range. The species prefers full sun and acidic, loamy soil, and has a medium growth rate

Description:
It is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m tall with a broad crown. The leaves are alternate, simple, 10–22 cm long and 4.5–8 cm broad, with a toothed margin. The flowers are produced in catkins 4–20 cm long, with the female flowers at the base of the catkin and males on the rest. The fruit is a densely spiny cupule 4–8 cm diameter, containing two or three glossy brown nuts; these are 2–3 cm diameter on wild trees. The scientific name mollissima derives from the softly downy shoots and young leaves
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In Vietnam, Chinese chestnut  which are grown in Trùng Khánh district, Cao B?ng province (Castanea mollissima Bl.) have highest quality with 3,3-5,4% glucose, 43,36- 46,47% glucid, 1,16 – 2% lipid, 3,12 – 3,62% protein analyzed by Vietnam National Vegetable and Fruit Researching Institution in 1999

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Edible Uses:
The nuts are edible, and the tree is widely cultivated in eastern Asia; over 300 cultivars have been selected for nut production, subdivided into five major regional groups: Northern, Yangtze River Valley, Sichuan and Guizhou, Southern and Southwestern. Besides that, the Dandong chestnut (belonging to the Japanese chestnut – Castanea crenata) is a major cultivar in Liaoning Province. Some cultivars, such as ‘Kuling’, ‘Meiling’, and ‘Nanking’, have large nuts up to 4 cm diameter. The nuts are sweet, and considered by some to have the best taste of any chestnut, though others state they are not as good as the American Chestnut. The nuts also provide a significant food source for wildlife.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the burrs is used in the treatment of diarrhea, uncontrollable nose bleed, dysentery, regurgitation and profound thirst. The flowers are used in the treatment of scrofula. The stem bark is used to treat poisoned wounds whilst the stem sap is used to treat lacquer poisoning.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castanea_mollissima

http://www.southeasternflora.com/view_flora.asp?plantid=462#

http://www.hort.net/gallery/view/fag/casmo50

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