Leaves: Alternate and oblong, with a wavy margin. Small bristle tip serration at the end of each vein. Chinese chestnut features oblong-lanceolate, coarsely toothed, dark green leaves (5-8" long) that are soft green and pubescent beneath. The leaves turn varying shades of yellow in fall. Aromatic monoecious creamy yellowish-white flowers appear in catkins in late spring.
Flowers: Long catkins held upright in the spring. The male flowers are located at the top portion of the catkin and the female flowers are located near the base. Flowers can be quite showy, even though it is for a brief period. The flowers are followed by edible chestnuts which are encased in spiny dehiscent burs (2-3" diameter), usually 2-3 nuts per bur.
Bark: Has deep ridges.
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium moisture
General Culture: Grow in moist, well-drained, loams in full sun. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. Established trees do well in dry conditions. If growing this tree at least in part for its edible nuts, planting more than one tree facilitates cross-pollination and generally produces a more abundant nut crop.
Noteworthy Characteristics: It is grown as an ornamental tree and/or for its edible nuts. It is noted for its resistance to chestnut blight which has nearly wiped out the native American chestnut tree.
Other: Fruit has a prickly outer cover. Used in the landscape instead of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) because it is resistant to chestnut blight. A member of the Fagaceae family.
Uses: A beautiful specimen shade tree for lawns. The chestnuts may be harvested for roasting on an open fire.