Sweet Chestnut

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Sweet Chestnut

Sweet Chestnut fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Fagales
Family:Fagaceae
Genus:Castanea
Species:C. sativa

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The Sweet Chestnut is a tree (Castanea sativa, family Fagaceae) native to southern Europe and Asia Minor. It is often a large tree attaining a height of 20-35 m with a trunk often 2 m in diameter. The oblong-lanceolate, boldly toothed leaves are 16-28 cm long and 5-9 cm broad.

The flowers of both sexes are borne in 10-20 cm long, upright catkins, the male flowers in the upper part and female flowers in the lower part. They appear in late June to July, and by autumn, the female flowers develop into spiny cupules containing 3-7 brownish nuts that are shed during October.

The tree requires a mild climate and adequate moisture for good growth and a good nut harvest. It is sensitive to late spring and early autumn frosts, and is intolerant of lime. Under forest conditions it will tolerate moderate shade well.

Uses

Sweet Chestnut is widely cultivated for its edible nuts. As early as Roman times it was introduced into more northerly regions, and later it was cultivated in monastery gardens by monks. Today, centuries-old specimens may be found in Great Britain and the whole of central and western Europe. The nuts, which are very tasty, are used by confectioners and are also eaten roasted. They are popular in France, Italy and particularly in Corsica. They may be roasted whole or ground to make flour. The Corsican variety of polenta (called pulenta) is made with sweet chestnut flour. The durable wood is used to make furniture, barrels, and fencing; due to its tendency to split and warp badly, it is not used in large pieces. The bark also provides tannin.

bg:Сладък кестен

de:Edelkastanie es:Castanea sativa nl:Tamme kastanje pl:Kasztan jadalny pt:Castanheiro (rvore) tr:Anadolu Kestanesi

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