Fagaceae (beech family) Castanea

Castanea sativa Spanish chestnut

North Temperate Zone

A tall, broad, deciduous tree much appreciated in Europe for its abundant spiny, edible fruit, and the social activity that accompanies the roasting. C. mollissima, Chinese chestnut, is also suitable locally. Chestnut trees require plenty of space; there are no known examples on campus, but specimens might be found on one or more of the Chestnut streets in nearby cities. The chestnut in the King James Bible, a tree from which Jacob took cuttings for fraudulent purposes, more likely refers to the white poplar. The name chestnut (Fr. châtaignier, Ger. Kastanie, Russ. kashtan, Sp. castaña) came from the name of a Greek town Kastania (modern Turkish Kestane).

Name derivation: Castanea – Greek town Kastania (modern Turkish Kestane); sativa – cultivated.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.