Herb: Ozark Chinkapin

Latin name: Castanea ozarkensis

Family: Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Edible parts of Ozark Chinkapin:

Seed - raw or cooked. Small but tasty. Eaten raw, there is a distinct astringency, especially if the fleshy inner skin beneath the outer shell of the seed is not removed. When cooked, however, and especially when baked, the seed becomes much sweeter and has a floury texture. It then makes an excellent food and can be used as a staple food in much the same way as potatoes or cereals.

Description of the plant:


18 m
(59 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Woods and rocky slopes. Deciduous forest at elevations of 150-600 metres.

Other uses of Ozark Chinkapin:

The bark, leaves, wood and seed husks all contain tannin.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - where possible sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a seed bed outdoors. The seed must be protected from mice and squirrels. The seed has a short viability and must not be allowed to become dry. It can be stored in a cool place, such as the salad compartment of a fridge, for a few months if it is kept moist, but check regularly for signs of germination. The seed should germinate in late winter or early spring. If sown in an outdoor seedbed, the plants can be left in situ for 1 - 2 years before planting them out in their permanent positions. If grown in pots, the plants can be put out into their permanent positions in the summer or autumn, making sure to give them some protection from the cold in their first winter.

Cultivation of Ozark Chinkapin:

Woods and rocky slopes. Deciduous forest at elevations of 150-600 metres.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Castanea ozarkensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.