Deciduous shrubs or trees with fissured bark. Twigs moderate, somewhat grooved; pith moderate, continuous, angled. Buds solitary, ovoid, oblique, sessile, with 2 or 3 visible scales, the terminal bud sometimes absent. Leaf-scars alternate, half-round; bundle-traces 3 or much divided; stipule-scars unequal. Nuts usually 3 together in a prickly involucre ("bur").

Fig. 62. Castanea dentata

Fig. 62. Castanea dentata.


Twigs and buds glabrous, or with scattered hairs


C. dentata


Twigs and buds grayish-tomentose


C. pumila

1. C. dentata (Marsh.) Borkh. Chestnut. A tree 20-30 m. high, 1-2 m. thick, with brown bark in longitudinal plates; twigs chestnut-brown; "bur" 4-10 cm. in diameter, enclosing 1-5 nuts; nuts 1-2. 5 cm. wide, quite sweet. Dry mostly acid soil, Maine and Minnesota, south to Georgia and Mississippi; now mostly destroyed by chestnut blight (Fig. 62).

2. C. pumila (L.) Mill. Chinquapin. A spreading shrub or small tree 6-10m. high, 3-6dm. in diameter;bark lightly furrowed, with flat ridges broken into light brown loose plates; "bur" 4 cm. in diameter or less; nut ovoid, not flattened, quite sweet, but scarcely half as large as the chestnut. Dry woods and thickets, Florida to Texas, north to Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Arkansas (Fig. 63).

Fig. 63. Castanea pumila

Fig. 63. Castanea pumila.