Sweet Chestnut
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Sweet Chestnut
ntroduced Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Sweet Chestnut, European chestnut, Spanish chestnut
Botanical name: Castanea sativa    Family: Fagaceae (Beech family)

Sweet Chestnut is a large and handsome tree that can get 100 ft tall with a crown spread of about 50 ft. The oblong-elliptic leaves, to 8 in long, and have coarse marginal teeth and prominent veins. The flowers are in showy spikelike creamy yellow catkins. The fruit is a prickly burr enclosing 1-5 nuts each 0.5-1 in in diameter. There are numerous cultivars selected for nut quality and adaptation to different regions and growing conditions. Sweet chestnut was probably originally native to western Asia, from Iran to the Balkans. It has been cultivated for more than 3000 years.

Identification credit: Keith Marshal Photographed in Manali, Shimla & Kashmir.

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